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Top priority to medical, health sector: Minister

Top priority to medical, health sector: Minister
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Kondru Murali lays stone for Oncology and Surgical Block at KGH Visakhapatnam: The State government has accorded top priority to medical and...

Kondru Murali lays stone for Oncology and Surgical Block at KGH Visakhapatnam: The State government has accorded top priority to medical and health sector by providing budgetary allocation of over Rs 6,500 crore to ensure best medicare to the poor people, said Kondru Murali Mohan, Minister for Medical Education, Arogyasri, Health Insurance and Medical Infrastructure. The minister was here on Sunday to lay foundation-stone for the Oncology and Surgical Block to be constructed with an estimated cost of Rs 75 crore from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of RINL, ONGC, BHEL, GAIL, NMDC, VPT, HPCL and NTPC at the King George Hospital (KGH) with the initiative of RS member Dr T Subbarami Reddy. Addressing a large gathering after laying the foundation-stone, Mr Murali Mohan said the government further allocated Rs 1,600 crore exclusively for treatment of chronic diseases and the health card holders and retired government employees could now get treatment for chronic diseases without any initial payment. "It is also planned to provide similar free health care for chronic diseases for scribes and advocates," he added. About the 108 emergency ambulance service, the minister said there were 850 ambulances providing free service currently and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had recently launched 120 similar jeep services in the Visakha Agency area, which could reach hilltop areas also. "Aiming at producing more medicos, two government medical colleges will be opened in Nellore and Nizamabad shortly and Andhra Pradesh is the only State which has a strength of 6,500 medical seats in the country," he claimed. Stating that it was the Chief Minister's decision that each district should have a medical college, he said there were 14 government colleges currently in the State. The government had recently launched a new welfare scheme � 'Marpu' � to provide nutritious food to both pregnant women and infants so as to curb infant deaths by encouraging institutional deliveries. Mr Murali Mohan complimented Dr Subbarami Reddy for initiating such a huge project and the doctors and the nursing staff of KGH for extending good service to poor. "There will be no problem now to increase the strength of Andhra Medical College from the existing 200 to 250 seats as the eight-storey Oncology and Surgical Block being built would provide space," he added. Dr Subbarami Reddy reaffirmed that he was committed to serve the poor and the downtrodden with his 'utmost divine power'. He said there would be no dearth of funds for the new block as the sanctioning of CSR funds was almost cleared in the board meetings of the donor Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). About his new public welfare schemes, Dr TSR said it was decided to extend medicare to six lakh poor people and cataract surgeries to three lakh aged persons. He promised all help for the welfare of doctors and the nursing staff. Minister for Ports and Investments Ganta Srinivasa Rao said a committee has been formed with the Joint Collector as convenor to monitor how the PSUs were using the CSR funds, decide the priorities and how much was to be spent for Visakhapatnam. He urged Mr Murali Mohan to see ensure that necessary funds were released for the completion of the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) at the earliest. Visakha Sri Sarada Peethadhipati Swaroopanandendra Saraswathi Maha Swami, while complimenting Dr TSR for his gesture towards the poor, gave his blessings for the early completion of the project. Government Whip Dronamraju Srinivas presided over the meeting. Among other dignitaries, Collector V Seshadri, Municipal Commissioner MV Satyanarayana, Director of Medical Education Dr Vishnu Prasad, KGH superintendent Dr Madhusudana Babu, MLAs Avanthi Srinivasa Rao and Panchakarla Ramesh were present.
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