Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore on Sunday stressed the importance of family planning and asked officials to take awareness programmes to remote areas of the state. “Rajasthan records 17 lakh births every year, which is equivalent to the population of a new district. But then, 353 infants die every day and it is a major concern,” he said after inaugurating a mother and child health care unit on the premises of the district hospital in Bundi.
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The unit built at a cost of Rs 15.27 crore, thrown open to public on June 27, was formally inaugurated by the minister Sunday, health officials said. He termed the population expansion as a major hurdle to providing medical and health services and acknowledged that taking services to remote areas and the last person was still a major challenge.
“Rajasthan has 17,000 government hospitals and health centres. Everyday, around 50 lakh patients use Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) services and around 15,000 patients are admitted to medical institutes,” Rathore said.
On the state government’s Bhamasaha Swasthya Beema Yojana (BSBY), the minister said, “67 per cent people enlisted in the food security scheme are availing free medical facilities in 628 private and 494 government health institutes under BSBY and till now around 5.92 lakh people have been benefited.”
He said 6,600 doctor and 20,000 paramedical staff have been recruited to strengthen medical and health services in the state. Expressing concern over the inability of district health officials to utilise the allotted budget, Rathore said, “District officials need to be undergo a surgery. I will conducted it in a meeting later this evening.”
On demonetisation of high-value currency notes, he said the Centre’s move reflects that the nation is “changing”. Kota MP Om Birla, who accompanied Rathore at the event, said, “People are happy with demonetisation and are prepared to face troubles to make the nation corruption-free. This will add around Rs 2 lakh crore to the budget next year.”
Birla asked for a medical college in Bundi to which Rathore said the institute would be constructed and operated on public-private partnership mode. Meanwhile, state Youth Congress General Secretary Charmesh Sharma submitted a memorandum to the minister protesting the inaugural of the unit after 146 days since it was opened to public. “Inaugurating the unit functional since June 27 is misuse of public money,” he alleged.