March 28, 2014
1000 days at a glance: Achievements in Healthcare
During the 34 years of Left Front rule, the health infrastructure in West Bengal was in doldrums. In the last two and a half years, a lot of lost ground has been reclaimed by the Trinamool Congress led West Bengal Government. Despite the paucity of funds, a lot of focus has been laid on the Health Department, headed by the Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee herself. From surprise visits to hospitals to setting up of fair price medicine shops, Health Department has achieved a lot in the last 34 months.
Here are some of the achievements by the department in the 1000 days of Ma, Mati, Manush Government:
Fair price medicine shops – a model for the entire country: Across the state, 63 fair price medicine shops have been opened on the PPP model. Through these shops, discounts on medicines from 48% to 72% are available. Till February 2014, as many as 52 lakh people have benefited through this. Medicines amounting to Rs 213 crore have been sold during this time period, providing discount to the tune of Rs 130 crore. Besides, 47 fair price diagnostic centres are also being opened on the PPP model.
Remarkable progress in respect of a few health indexes: There has been a 20% decrease in the mortality rate of mothers during childbirth, and institutional delivery has risen to 79%.
Expansion of Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) and setting up of Sick Newborn Stabilisation Units (SNSUs): The number of SNCUs has been enhanced from 6 to 37, and 198 new SNSUs have been set up, during the tenure of this government. 37 Critical Care Units are being set up during the tenure of our government, of which seven have already been opened.
New multi-specialty hospitals in districts: During the tenure of our government, 34 multi-specialty hospitals are being opened in the districts:
- Chhatna, Onda, Barjora and Bishnupur in Bankura district
- Huthmura and Raghunathpur in Purulia district
- Bolpur, Suri and Rampurhat in Birbhum district
- Salboni, Debra, Ghatal, Jhargram, Nayagram II and Gopiballavpur in Paschim Medinipur district
- Nandigram, Egra and Panskura in Purba Medinipur district
- Kakdwip, Metiabruz, Baruipur, Diamond Harbour and MR Bangur Hospital in South 24 Parganas district
- Sagardighi, Jangipur and Domkal in Murshidabad district
- Chanchal in Malda district
- Gangarampur and Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district
- Islampur and Raigunj in Uttar Dinajpur district
- Falakata, Jalpaiguri and Mal (in the Dooars) in Jalpaiguri district
Of these, work for 13 hospitals has already started, and work orders for 21 others have been issued.
Supply of free medicines and unveiling of healthcare facilities: During the tenure of this government, free medicines are being supplied to all privacy and rural healthcare centres. The budget provision on this head is also being doubled. Cutting across economic backgrounds, treatment, pathological examinations, medicines, diet and arranging for easy transportation to hospitals have been made available free of cost to all pregnant mothers and children up to the age of one year in the state.
Setting up of new Health Districts: Seven new Health Districts have been established in Nandigram, Diamond Harbour, Basirhat, Jhargram, Asansol, Bishnupur and Rampurhat.
Sisusathi Prokalpo: Free of cost surgery for children affected by congenital heart diseases has been introduced in three private hospitals, including SSKM, under Sisusathi Prokalpo.
Special emphasis on paediatric treatment: Thirty one nutrition rehabilitation centres have been set up under the government-run healthcare system for the first time ever for children affected by malnutrition. A human milk bank named Madhur Sneha has been opened at SSKM Hospital. This is a first for eastern India.
First cord blood bank: A cord blood bank has been established in Kolkata, the first of its kind in the eastern region. A special type of cell, called stem cell, will be collected from cord blood and be preserved after delivery at the School of Tropical Medicine. The bank has been set up at a cost of Rs 2 crore. Later, this stem cell will come handy in treating many complicated diseases such as diabetes, kidney and liver dysfunctions, paralysis and cancer.