Government adopts multi-pronged approach to correct uneven progress in health indicators

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (ANI): The Economic Survey for 2009-10 presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament on Thursday has revealed that an assessment of the performance of the country's health related indicators suggests that significant gains have been made over the years.

The survey also points out that the progress in health indicators has been quite uneven across regions (large-scale inter-State variations), gender (male-female differences) as well as space (with significant rural-urban differences) In order to bridge this gap and provide accessible, affordable, equitable health care, the Government has launched a large number of programmes and schemes.

The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) launched in 2005 has major innovations in the creation of a cadre of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and improved hospital care, decentralisation at district level to improve intra and inter-sectoral convergence and effective utilization of resources.

Under the NRHM, 2474 specialists, 8782 MBBS doctors, 26,253 staff nurses, 46,296 auxiliary nurses midwives (ANMs), 12,485 paramedics have been employed on contract.

14,716 Additional Primary Health Centres (APHCs), PHCs, CHCs and other sub-district facilities are functional round the clock.

Over two crore women have so far been covered under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). Ayurveda, Yoga and naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) services have been co-located in 9,608 health facilities and 7,399 AYUSH doctors and 3,110 AYUSH paramedics have been added to the system.

580 District Programme Managers, 577 District Accounts Managers, 525 District Data managers, 639 District Programme Management Units (DPMUs), 3004 block Managers, 3691 Accountants, 2896 Block PMUs have been added.

The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was launched with the objective of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/reliable tertiary health care services and to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.

The PMSSY has two components in its first phase : (i) Setting up of six All-India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS)-like institutions - one each in Bihar (Patna), Chhattisgarh (Raipur), adhya Pradesh (Bhopal), Orissa (Bhubaneshwar), Rajasthan (Jodhpur) and Uttaranchal (Rishikesh). These States were identified on the basis of their socio-economic vulnerabilities. (ii) Upgradation of 13 existing Government medical colleges/institutions in ten States. In most of the colleges, the work is expected to be completed this year, while in the rest, it would be completed in 2010-11.

In the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) major achievements during 2009-10 include scaling up of targeted interventions for high-risk groups to 1,281, counselling and HIV testing of 91.9 lakh persons including 38.8 lakh pregnant women and providing anti-retroviral treatment to around 2.88 lakh patients as of November 2009.

New strategies initiated during the year include setting up of the District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit (DAPCU), scheme of link workers in rural areas of category A and B districts, collaboration with the NRHM and other National health Programmes. (ANI)

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