Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ADB, HUDCO to finance Maha plans for 34 new superspeciality hospitals

In a follow-up of the recent spate of deaths in several government-run hospitals, Maharashtra will create new super-speciality hospitals and upgrade other health-care infrastructure under the ‘Vision-2035’ initiative, with help from HUDCO, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Centre.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde made the announcement after a high-level meeting with Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, the concerned ministers and departments, collectors and health authorities across the state, late on Monday.

Under the new plan ‘Vision-2035’ which will be ready in a fortnight, the government plans to change the face of public health-care in the next 10-12 years, to make it more people-centric and efficient, on par with global standards, said an official.

For financing the ambitious venture, the state government will seek Rs 8,331 crore through additional budgetary allocation, HUDCO has sanctioned Rs 3,948-crore, the Asian Development Bank will give a loan of Rs 5,177 crore, and the Central government will provide whatever more funding is necessary, said Shinde.

Presently, after the series of deaths in government-run hospitals in Nanded, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Nagpur and Thane, the state has come in severe flak owing to shortages of medicines, staff, infrastructure, etc, and even the Bombay High Court took suo motu cognisance of the serious issue.

Shinde reiterated that the district collectors have been empowered to buy medicines, a dashboard in Mantralaya will monitor demand and supply of medicines and other requirements regularly by the hospitals, all collectors have been instructed to visit state-run facilities within their jurisdiction frequently to check on basic and other requirements including drinking water, sanitation, etc.

Under the proposed plan, the government aims to upgrade the existing healthcare infrastructure as well as create 34 super-speciality hospitals at the district levels, and all government hospitals will get state-of-the-art modern operation theatres.

The Chief Minister said that whenever a new medical college would be announced the work on an attached hospital will also begin, and since some of the district civil hospitals presently attached with medical colleges are inadequate, they would be upgraded or redeveloped with more beds and specialised treatment.

Shinde assured that the budget for these would be doubled and a recruitment drive on a war-footing will be taken up to fill medical, paramedical and other vacancies, with the Collectors authorised to initiate the recruitment.

A few years ago, the government had announced a medical college for almost all districts, but they faced challenges like finding teachers and other academic staffers, with even existing colleges grappling with shortages, with many unwilling to work in non-urban or rural areas.

To a suggestion by Fadnavis to provide a ‘telemedicine facility’ for rural or remote areas, Shinde has directed the government to create and implement a system for this on priority.

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