The Health Department is concerned about increasing number of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) in the state and under the state flagship programme CATCH each individual is screened for all the diseases including NCDs, says Vishal Chauhan, Commissioner-cum- Secretary Health Care, Human Services and Family Welfare Department, Sikkim, in an interview with Ritika Srivastava of Elets News Netowork (ENN).
How is your Department working towards providing best health services to the people of Sikkim?
The Department of Healthcare, Human Services and Family Welfare Department of the State is always endeavouring for strengthening the primary, secondary and tertiary level care in the right direction in terms of its infrastructure, man power and community participation. The State is one of the good performing state with Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 16 per/1000 live births, Institutional Delivery 98.4 per cent (HMIS 2016- 17) and Immunisation coverage of 95 per cent (HMIS 2016-17). The Department is providing free essential drugs and diagnostics in all public health facilities.
In addition, the Government of Sikkim has launched the state flagship programme called Chief Minster’s Comprehensive Annual and Total Check-up for Healthy Sikkim (CATCH) in 2010 under our visionary and dynamic leader Shri Pawan Chamling, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim. This is a programme to provide a comprehensive annual and total health check-up to all the citizens for appropriate intervention individually and collectively to make the Sikkim healthiest state in the country.
Till date, the first phase of the programme has been over and we are now implementing second phase of the programme. Under this programme, health card is issued with the unique identification number to all the citizens of the state and the planning is to use it for providing healthcare services in future.
What is the impact of ICT in the field of medical science, how is your Department delivering healthcare solutions through technology in the state?
In the modern era, the role of ICT in the field of medical science is immense. In Sikkim, we are utilising ICT for timely reporting and monitoring of health programmes through Health Management Information System (HMIS) under National Health Mission. It is being used for tracking of pregnant mothers and infants through RCH portal. The Department is now in a process to utilising health card under CATCH programme. We have also implemented Public Finance Management System (PFMS) for making transparency in transaction under NHM. The Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to the beneficiaries is also in place. We are in a process to implementing Drugs and vaccine Distribution Managements System (DVDMS) for better stores management in the state.
Please update us in the recent scheme being undertaken to deal with the Non Communicable Diseases?
The Department is concerned about increasing number of Non – Communicable Diseases (NCD) in the state and under the state flagship programme CATCH each individual is screened for all the diseases including NCDs like hypertension, diabetes, cancers, strokes, etc. The State has implemented National Programme for Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Strokes (NPCDCS) under the NHM. The population based screening of NCDs has already been started since this year.
What actions has your Department initiated under PCPNDT Act?
The PCPNDT act is being implemented in the state of Sikkim since 1996. The statutory bodies as per the Act are in place and functional. Regular meetings of the Advisory Committee of the State and district level are being conducted. The State inspection and monitoring committee is also formed to monitor the diagnostic centres on a regular basis.
The Department is organising various IEC activities in all the districts of state. A video spot on PCPNDT awareness is also developed as a part of IEC activities. The Department has also developed website on PC & PNDT Act which was launched on 7th April 2016 by Hon’ble Chief Minster of Sikkim (www.sikkimpndt.org). The child sex ratio of the State is 957 (Census 2011).
The Department is concerned about increasing number of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) in the state and under the state flagship programme CATCH each individual is screened for all the diseases including NCDs like hypertension, diabetes, cancers, strokes, etc.
How your Department plans to improve the healthcare system of Sikkim in the coming years?
The Department is planning to improve the public healthcare through transforming Primary Health Sub-Centres (PHSCs) into health and wellness centre for providing comprehensive public health services in the phase manner. The Department is also planning to strengthen all the CHC and district hospitals in terms of its infrastructure, manpower, equipment and other facilities.
The CATCH programme would be strengthened and the health card generated under this programme would be linked to the hospital based treatment in near future. The tertiary health care would be enhanced by operationalisation of the up-coming 1,150 bedded multi speciality hospital situated at Socheygang, Gangtok and the Department is also considering to have Government medical college in order to produce specialised manpower so as to overcome the issues of human resource.
The Department is also providing high priority in containing the tuberculosis programme in the State. In addition to RNTCP a separate state specific programme is also planning to be considered in near future.
As an alternative to modern medicine, AYUSH is also given a high priority in the State. A 10-bedded AYUSH hospital is functional in the state capital. A 50-bedded AYUSH hospital is under construction at west district and a Sowa Rigpa Teaching Institute is coming up at Gangtok.