Govt calls emergency meeting to review health schemes

Govt calls emergency meeting to review health schemes
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Srinagar: A meeting of senior officials of the Health Department, National Health Mission J&K, and Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation (JKMSCL) has been called on Tuesday by Advisor to the Governor K Vijay Kumar to speed up implementation of various health schemes and purchase of drugs for hospitals.
According to sources, the officials have been asked to prepare status report of all major schemes and an implementation plan for schemes which have been non-starters.
“The meeting will give an opportunity to the Governor’s administration to task the health officials for implementation of various flagship programmes,” said an administrator.
The development comes in the backdrop of fund lapse accusations and alleged misuse of public money that was supposed to be spent on various health programmes.
Last month, the government had assured to review the health schemes in J&K on regular basis following reports that officials were obstructing launch of two prestigious health schemes: the emergency ambulance services and the Biomedical Equipment Management and Maintenance Program (BMMP).
Advisor Kumar had told Kashmir Reader that the implementation of critical-care ambulances services under 102 and 108 helpline numbers and BMMP had been delayed due to “some gaps” in the tendering process. He had assured that the launch of BMMP would be expedited.
Earlier, official sources told Kashmir Reader that the letter of intent had been issued in favour of two selected companies after finalisation of the MoU drafts. “Although three months have passed since, there has been no headway in the process of implementation. The draft MoU documents are gathering dust at the NHM office since January this year after being sent to them for final approval, as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” a senior health official, privy to the tendering process, told Kashmir Reader.
The free ambulance service scheme has been delayed for many years due to the callous approach of NHM officials and the state-level purchase committee members. It was finally taken up last year after the government issued fresh tenders for it for the 15th time since 2008.
Similarly, the inordinate delay in implementing the Government of India-sponsored BMMP in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in the pilling up of over 50 percent bio-medical equipment as defunct in the last three years.
The mega flagship programme, started in 2015, allows state governments to outsource medical equipment maintenance comprehensively for all equipment across all facilities. Except for Jammu and Kashmir, it is successfully running in 20 states. It has also brought desired results, bringing down the number of defunct pieces of equipment, thereby reducing the cost of care and improving quality care in public health facilities.