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Vardhan unveils 10-point plan for Odisha health sector

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, July 19:

Showing his Ministry’s commitment towards Odisha, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today made 10 announcements in the health sector in the state. Some of the proposals, however, were mooted by the previous UPA government which have failed to take off so far.

Union Health  minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visiting the AIIMS, Bhubaneswar (Pix: Biswa Ranjan Mishra)
Union Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visiting the AIIMS, Bhubaneswar
(Pix: Biswa Ranjan Mishra)

Vardhan, who reviewed the health sector in the state and progress of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) with the state government, assured to to set up a satellite campus of AIIMS at Baleswar where a 300-bedded hospital would be set up.

He also considered the proposal for an integrated treatment facility for patients combining AYUSH and allopathic medication and techniques, a 100-bedded super-specialty Mental Health and Neurosciences Centre, 100-bedded super-speciaity Nephrology Centre with dialysis and kidney transplant facilities and a Cancer Super-Specialty centre with 100 bed capacity.

The 10 point proposal of the Centre also envisages a Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery with 100-bed super-specialty facility, a brand new Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and a Department of Geriatric Medicine.

Besides, he proposed that all B Sc (Nursing) students at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar would receive a monthly stipend of Rs 500.

However, most of the proposals were announced by the then Health Minister of UPA government Ghulam Nabi Azad, but had failed to materialise due to various reasons. While Azad had declared the satellite centre to be set up at Baleswar, he had said that Odisha will get one state level cancer institute at Cuttack and two regional level cancer institutes at VSS Medical College located in Burla, Sambalpur and MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur in Ganjam. He had also made an announcement about upgradation of some district hospitals in the state.

Meanwhile, Dr Harsh Vardhan assured to clear the decks for a recruitment drive for AIIMS, which is suffering a serious shortage of faculty and non-faculty staff, beginning from August first.

“We have only 65 filled faculty positions in each AIIMS at present, a shortfall of 250. So, I have decided to hire teachers on contractual basis for the first two years because we need to get the facilities functional fast,” he told reporters.

The Minister said he has decided to give the Director of each of the AIIMS the authority to chair selection committee meetings.