Interview

‘Arunachal Pradesh Embarking on Robust Healthcare System’

P. Parthiban

Despite difficult terrain and topography, the State Government is making concerted efforts to improve care delivery system, enabling masses accessible healthcare services. The State has beautifully integrated various programmes with technological advancements to develop exemplary patient care model, says P. Parthiban, Secretary Health cum MD National Health Mission (NHM), Government of Arunachal Pradesh, in conversation with Nisha Samant and Mukul Kumar Mishra of Elets News Network (ENN).

Q How do you assess the State’s healthcare delivery system in terms of accessibility and affordability?

The state has a unique issue due to difficult terrain and topography of the state. Around 60 percent of the population resides in the rural area. In order to increase accessibility of healthcare services, we have 1 medical college, 6 general hospitals, 15 district hospital, 61 community health centres, 148 primary health centres, 4 urban primary health centres and 582 sub health centres.

The number of health facilities in the state is more than the required numbers as per the Indian Public Health Standards. However, to ensure that the entire population has access to the healthcare services, the Government has set up health facilities across the state.healthcare delivery system

Provision of quality healthcare services to masses is a priority of the state government. With that objective, the state government provides budget annually for drugs and equipments in all the health facilities including HR. Adding to the state government’s budget, the Government of India also provides funds under various National Health Programmes through National Health Mission. These drugs are provided free of cost to all the patients coming to the health facilities. The state government has also implemented the Chief Minister’s Arogya Arunachal Yojna, wherein every household has a health cover of Rs 5 lakh per annum.

Q Tell us about recent measures undertaken by the Government to boost overall patient care especially maternal and child health.

A number of steps have been undertaken which can be encapsulated as follows:

Chief Minister’s Arogya Arunachal Yojna – Under this scheme every household can avail health coverage of worth Rs 5 lakh per annum.

Prime Minister Free Dialysis programme – Taking into account the rising number of patients with kidney issues, the government has set up three dialysis units at TRIHMS, DH Tawang, and GH pasighat. Another unit is being set up at DH Namsai under the Prime Minister Free Dialysis Programme. Patients are being given free dialysis at all these dialysis units.

Free Diagnostic Services– A huge sum of money is being spent by the patients in diagnostic services, draining them out economically. In this light, the government has introduced Free Diagnostic Services. All the diagnostic services will be providing free of cost at all the health facilities.

Free Drug Initiative– It is yet another initiative of the government to ensure all essential and emergency life saving drugs free of cost to all the patients.

Biomedical Equipment Maintenance and Management Programme– In order to provide round the clock diagnostic services, it is important that all the equipments in the hospitals are functioning. In order to ensure 24×7 functionality of equipments, the government has entered into an agreement with a private vendor on PPP mode. He will be responsible to maintain and manage any kind of equipment malfunction.

Maternal & Child Health Services– Wellbeing of the pregnant women, mothers, infants and children is a top priority of the government. The government has initiated many programmes exclusively for maternal and child health. In all the health facilities, New Born Care Corners are being set up for immediate care of the newborn. New Born Stabilisation Units have been set up in five district hospitals. Sick Newborn Care Units for the care of sick newborns are being set up in two district hospitals.

To take care of nutrition of children, one Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre is established at GH Pasighat, catering to the entire state. It is also necessary to have all the children fully immunised, as such programmes like Routine Immunisation, Intensified Mission Indradhanush, IPPI etc are carried out. Incentives for full immunisation are also given to the beneficiaries.

Institutional delivery is most important for safe delivery and care of the newborn. In order to encourage pregnant women to deliver in the hospitals, programmes like Janani Shishu Shuraksha Karyakram and janani Shuraksha Yojna are in place. JSSK ensures provision of free services like medicine, diagnostics, blood, diet transportation, etc for all private wards in hospitals for pregnant women from ANC till delivery and PNC. Cash incentives for institutional deliveries are also being given to the beneficiaries. Labour room strengthening and certification are being done under the LaQshya programme. Precious Lives Under Safety (PLUS) project, a state government initiative for pregnant women is being implemented in five districts.

Q It must be tough to provide quality care to remote part especially areas comprise of mountainous terrain, what have been done on this front?

Many Sub Health Centres in the remote areas have been functionalised through infrastructure development and posting of ANMs. Many sub centres and primary health centres have been upgraded to Health & Wellness Centre.

Regular outreach activities through Sarkar Aapke Dwar, Mukhya Mantri Rogi Kalyan Kosh, RI, National Health Mission etc are being carried out by the health service provider for the rural masses. Trained ASHAs are available in all the villages who functions as a link worker.

Q Robust Infrastructure has been a perennial issue affecting delivery of services…how PPP model is being leveraged to improve things?

In order to ensure healthcare service delivery in the remote areas, management of 16 remote health facilities has been handed over to 5 NGOs. Many infrastructure development projects with funding from the Government of India and various state governments are being implemented.

Q What kind of new projects, hospitals and medical colleges are being planned across the State?

A Medical college at Pasighat is being planned in addition to the existing new medical college at Naharlagun. Requirement of modern infrastructure is unlimited as most of the building has outlived its life. Few Zonal hospital upgradation is being established on priority.

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