The Gujarat Government is taking several initiatives to make the state a global healthcare destination
P K Taneja
Principal Secretary and Commissioner, Public Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Gujarat
Gujarat Government is trying to improve the skewed child sex ratio by effective implementation of PC and PNDT Act, which envisages increased roles for ICT based applications in the state, and by bringing about substantial improvements in immunisation. The state government is determined to address malnutrition related issues and has decided to set-up a state nutrition mission for convergence, integration, monitoring and evaluation of targeted interventions.
The state has set-up an autonomous society for Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA) related state interventions for full and faster coverage of tribal population in 12 tribal districts and plans are afoot for online tracking of beneficiaries through ICT initiatives.
We expect a substantial increase in budgetary outlays in the health sector in the next plan period. We also hope to integrate various initiatives taken under NRHM with state health systems, and to sustain these initiatives for all times to come. The state is providing primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services through reasonably good infrastructure of SCs, PHCs, CHCs, DHs, medical colleges and super specialty institutions.
The state is providing comprehensive maternal and child health services like ANC care, institutional delivery, PNC care and immunisation services with Mamta Abhiyan package and through private institutes’ involved in schemes like Chiranjeevi and Bal Sakha Yojana. The Mamta Taruni Abhiyan for comprehensive healthcare services was started to take care of adolescent girls. Gujarat government’s e-Mamta scheme is a ‘motherly’ system that remembers a child’s needs — even if the mother forgets. This project, which even the Union government is now considering to replicate in other states of the country, tracks and monitors the health of pregnant women and children of up to six years.
Everything about a child, from his very conception to education, is tracked and monitored under this system. Also, for parents, who have provided their cellphone numbers, vaccination alerts will be delivered via SMS on specific dates. The programme has improved reporting of maternal deaths from 589 to 702 over previous year and reporting of infant deaths from 4732 to 7263 over previous year.
The state’s success in controlling sickle cell anemia has been feted with the prestigious Prime Minister Excellence award for administration in Public Health Programme. Gujarat is associated with many high-end super-specialty institutes for heart, kidney and cancer treatment. The state government is determined to address malnutrition related issues and has decided to set-up a state nutrition mission
In the current year 2011-12, the Rastriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) policy in 26 districts of Gujarat is being renewed. In addition to the already eligible rural BPL families, the scheme is being extended to all the eligible 9.5 lakh urban BPL families of the state. More than 3.0 lakh BPL families have been enrolled till date.
The state is deploying more than 100 mobile Health Units and Mobile Medical Units in remote and difficult areas. It is absolutely necessary to monitor and track these units through a tracking system; GPRS technology based tracking services are being outsourced for the purpose. The health department has a few projects lined up, such as 104 (Non- emergency Health Help Line). Government has framed policies that make it mandatory for every employee to get certain level of IT knowledge for promotion. A separate entity, namely Gujarat Informatics Ltd (GIL), has been set up to support all Government departments in ICT initiatives.