Srinagar: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has ordered a probe into non-implementation of various health schemes in Jammu and Kashmir, following complaints and media reports of administrative lapses.
According to official sources, the probe will cover schemes like emergency ambulance services, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana, National Dialysis Program, Biomedical Equipment Management and Maintenance Program (BMMP), and Ayushman Bharat.
“Prime Minister’s Office has received complaints from various stakeholders about non-implementation of health schemes due to administrative lapses. Media reports also painted a grim picture of health schemes in J&K, which prompted the PMO to initiate a probe against National Health Mission officers and other health officials in the state who are responsible for the execution of the programmes,” a senior official privy to the development told Kashmir Reader.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at health officials of J&K on Wednesday in a video conference which was attended by chief secretary J&K, BVR Subrahmanyam, and Principal Secretary Health, Pawan Kotwal.
“The PM asked the officials why J&K state was lagging behind in various health schemes. The video conference was called following adverse reports received by the PMO about execution of health schemes in J&K,” the official said.
The callous approach of the state-level purchase committee in the Health Department has held up procurement of much-needed critical care ambulances in Jammu and Kashmir. The state government recently issued a fresh tender for the 15th time since 2008 for purchase of critical-care ambulances under 102 and 108 helpline numbers.
The BMMP is also facing delay due to administrative inertia in the NHM and J&K health department.
“Over 50 percent of bio-medical equipment has been left dysfunctional in the hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir due to inordinate delay in the implementation of BMMP which was started in 2015,” an official source had revealed to Kashmir Reader.
The much-hyped project of Jan Aushadhi stores, aimed at providing cheaper, generic medicines to people, has also failed to run properly across the three regions of J&K. An initiative of the Government of India, the scheme is supported by J&K government under a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India (BPPI). But the stores are facing a shortage of life-saving drug despite four years having passed since they were started.
When contacted, officials of NHM and J&K Medical Supplies Corporation (JKMSC) started blaming one another for the delay and poor implementation of health schemes.
“We have already released the money for the start of schemes like 102 and 108 ambulance services and BMMP. But the programme is being delayed due to the tendering by Medical Supplies Corporation, as they have to finalise the programme with the successful bidder,” Director NHM Dr Mohan Singh told Kashmir Reader.
JKMSC officials blamed NHM and other officials for the delay.
“Our job is to finalise the tendering process, which we did for the 102 and 108 ambulances in the past and recently for the BMMP. The delay has happened after that, so we are in no way responsible for the delay,” General Manager of JKMSC, Dr Iqbal, said.