Bihar may have more medical colleges soon : Ramadoss

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Patna, Jul 11 (UNI) Despite severe lack of infrastructural and other facilities, the Centre is actively considering opening a number of new medical colleges and government hospitals in Bihar soon.

This was stated by Union Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss while speaking to newsmen here today.

Referring to the 'abysmal' healthcare facilities in Bihar,Uttar Pradesh and Orissa, Dr Ramadoss said efforts were on by his ministry, in cooperation with concerned state governments, to improve their overall health scenario.

Expressing concern about the 'pathetic' situation in Bihar, Dr Ramadoss regretted that despite Central assistance not a single nursing college could be opened in Bihar so far.

On the possiblity of opening at least three new medical colleges and hospitals in Bihar,as anounced by Dr Ramadoss in Parliament, he said a central team had recently visited the proposed sites and objected to the plan because of alleged non-availability of basic infrastructural facilities.

''But still we are hopeful of setting up the new colleges at the earliest and have sought necessary cooperation and urgent action from the state government to meet the deficit,'' Dr Ramadoss said.

At present there are only six government medical colleges in Bihar serving a population of about nine crores.

He said following their introduction the shortfall of qualified doctors and nurses could be largely met.

On the successes of the centrally sponsored National Rural Health Mission(NRHM),Dr Ramadoss said during the first three years of the seven-year mission, Rs 12,500 crores of the total Rs 16,500 crores had been spent under various schemes to improve the healthcare facilities in 18 'focussed states' to a large extent.

The share of Bihar under various NRHM schemes was to the tune of more than Rs 1600 crores,he said replying to a related query.

But,Dr Ramadoss said,though the schemes had become successful in most of the 18 states,the situation in Bihar,UP and Orissa remained abysmal primarily because of lack of basic facilities and non-availability of qualified doctors and nurses.

''I shall raise the issue during my proposed meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar later today and seek an immediate action plan to rectify the deficit, particularly in rural areas,'' he said.

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