Govt plans to invest Rs 100 cr per district to upgrade healthcare infra

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The government will invest Rs 100 crore on an average on every district pan-India to upgrade healthcare infrastructure at the block level and provide improved diagnostics, treatment, surveillance and containment measures for future pandemics.

Union minister of health & family welfare (MoHFW) Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday this was a part of the government’s Rs 64,180-crore PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PMABHIM) to upgrade the country’s health infrastructure. Investments under the mission would be made between 2021-22 and 2025-26. The mission seeks to plug the gaps in healthcare infrastructure and address the regional imbalances in facilities.

programme, 79,415 health and wellness centres have been set up across the country, and the figure would go up to 1,50,000 by next year. Addressing a press conference, Mandaviya said 134 different types of tests would be done for free at district-level facilities, which will not only save costs but also reduce inconvenience for the poor. Critical care hospitals will be set up in 602 districts. Work is in progress to ensure that every district has at least one medical college, and this has started with the government sanctioning 157 medical colleges.

The government would also set up two mobile hospitals using containers that can be instantly moved to disaster or emergency sites by railway or flight. These mobile hospitals with 100 beds each, all equipment and medical support will be stationed at Delhi and Chennai. There will be 33 containers in the fleet, which can be moved anywhere in the country within 24 hours. India would be the first country in Asia to have two container-based hospitals.

Other components of the mission include setting up of the National Platform for One Health that will cover areas of animal-human interaction, a division for Research on Disease Elimination Sciences & Health as a Satellite Centre of National Aids Research Institute, four regional NIVs. The NCDC will be strengthened and additional BSL-3 facilities will be created under the ICMR and the NCDC to detect and diagnose new infections. Laboratories at the national, regional, state, district and block levels would be integrated into a network for surveillance, backed by IT through the Integrated Health Information Platform.

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