Revitalising government system of healthcare in TS
Keeping in view some of the unique conditions in Telangana state it is of utmost significance to revitalise the government system of health care by providing adequate medical and health facilities
Keeping in view some of the unique conditions in Telangana state it is of utmost significance to revitalise the government system of health care by providing adequate medical and health facilities. Ultimately, in the long run it is only a technology-based health care that would be able to address the medical and health needs of people.
In Telangana like in other parts of the country, specialties and super specialties healthcare is available mainly in private sector and partly in Government sector whereas the entire primary care is done by government. Another problem in India in general and particularly to the middle-class people is the huge costs for diagnostic services which are provided mainly by private centers. For instance, a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Scan costs anywhere around Rs. 25, 000 and an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) costs around Rs. 15, 000 and many more like that. These need to be provided by Government at affordable costs. This is now realised by government thanks to KCT initiative.
In this context, an action oriented massive plan conceived and launched in the medical and health sector by CM KCR needs a special mention. From the day when he assumed office, KCR had put public health high on his state government's agenda. As is his wont he studies the subject thoroughly before he defines, designs, develops, delivers and then implements a programme.
Realising that the people have a very poor opinion about the government hospitals and many songs ridiculing the sordid state of government hospitals and medical treatment available became very popular among the masses under the united AP rule, KCR had embarked upon revamping the government hospitals from the Primary Health centres (PHCs) to the tertiary care hospitals. He started allocating more funds for the public health.
Adequate funds are given to improve the basic infrastructure facilities in the government hospitals from beds, medcines, and instruments to even the bed linen. He instructed the officials concerned to place their bulk orders for bedsheets, spreads, pillow covers to curtains and other cloth material from the handloom sector. He filled up all the vacant posts in the Medical and Health Department.
KCR introduced what is popularly known as the KCR Kits. Under the Scheme, each pregnant woman is given financial aid both pre and post natal period. She is also provided with a Kit containing clothes, quality baby soaps, baby oil, baby powder, mosquito nets, toys, napkins, and diapers. She is also given Rs 12,000 during the period for the loss of wages she incurred for taking a holiday. The woman is given an extra Rs 1000 if she is blessed with a baby girl. A free Ambulance service under Amma Vodi scheme is provided to her to take her from her home to hospital and then back home with the baby. This scheme has increased institutional deliveries in the government hospitals by leaps and bounds.
With CM KCR initiative, massive eye camps were conducted all over the state known as Kanti Velugu, where entire population in the State are provided with free eye tests, spectacles and medicines. For people who needed further treatment, they are referred to the specialty hospitals in Hyderabad for a free treatment. Kanti Velugu was done on a massive scale which Infact should find place in the world record books. Now health profile is being taken-up.
KCR had introduced Basti Dawakhanas in Hyderabad, which became very popular and he had to expand them to other Municipal Corporations, Municipalities on public demand. Now there is a demand for Basti Dawakhanas model from the rural areas.
When corona pandemic broke out all over the country, he instilled confidence among the people and explained to them the need to follow certain procedures in their personal and public life. He repeatedly told them the need to have nutritious food, intake C vitamin through consumption of fruits, hygienic way of living etc. When needed, he imposed lockdowns and relaxed them when it required.
When the pandemic was on its peak, Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) at Gachibowli in a sprawling campus was established. Gandhi Hospital was notified as a Covid Hospital. During the second wave, since a majority of people having Covid can be treated at home isolation, CM KCR launched a two-pronged strategy of conducting the fever survey and distributing corona medical Kits to the needy. He also instructed the officials to step up the Covid tests to curtail the Corona Virus spread in the State. He also increased the number of Rapid Antigen Test kits and in all the medical centres.
In the wake of reports of Black Fungus disease spreading, for its treatment, special beds were created and required medicines were kept ready in the State. The process of recruiting doctors and other medical staff was done on a war footing. Several existing medical colleges were given permission to start Nursing Colleges and seven more medical colleges along with the Nursing Colleges were sanctioned in the State. All the beds in the government hospitals were converted into Oxygen beds and Oxygen production in the state has increased to 600 MT daily.
The Government took care of its junior doctors and their problems were all solved. The CM increased the honorarium paid to the Senior Residents by 15 percent. The CM also extended the Senior Residents' honorarium to the medical students who are engaged in the Covid duties after their three years of medical course. Better medical facilities are provided to Junior Doctors and their family members at the NIMS.
CM observed that the medical treatment is becoming more and more costly and the cost of diagnostic tests became more than the disease. Tests for the heart, liver, kidney, lungs, cancer, thyroid etc. became a necessity for the poor. People are forced to go to the private clinics, spend thousands of rupees and get the tests done. This has become a heavy financial burden on the poor.
KCR launched diagnostic centres in 19 identified district headquarters in the State and in the major government hospitals recently. This is a landmark decision in the history of medical and health sector in the State. In phases these will be set-up in the remaining districts. The free diagnostic centers are started in the government sector, as the CM realised that patients are spending more on the tests than on their treatment. About 57 tests are being done at the Centers. Very expensive equipment with state-of-the-art; modern technology is installed at the centers. Required number of pathologists, microbiologists, radiologists are posted at these centers.
For the emergency services, the government is running 428 ambulances under 108 services. 300 Vehicles are already in operation for pregnant women under Amma Vadi Scheme, where the pregnant mothers are transported free to the hospitals and back home after the delivery. 100-bedded hospitals in Satthupalli and Madhira will be set up shortly and the Warangal Central Prison is now shifted and, in its place, a super specialty mother and child care centre would come up.
CM KCR had allocated a whopping Rs 10,000 crore additionally to the Medical and Health departments other than the funds allocated in the Budget. A healthy Telangana is in offing along with Bangaru Telangana thanks to the initiatives of CM KCR.