Caught between CBI inquiry and delayed procurement procedures,the Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) in Uttar Pradesh have come to a standstill. The units,meant to take primary healthcare to hard-to-reach areas in the state,have not been functioning for the past one and a half years.
The payment to the service providers for 133 MMUs,launched as Mukhya Mantri Mahamaya Sachal Aspatal Yojna,were held up by the state government in January 2012 after a CBI inquiry was ordered in the NRHM scam in the state. The CAG,too,had made negative observations regarding procurements and running of MMUs in the state.
In the one year that the MMUs were functional,they attended to over 14 lakh patients and referred almost 77,000 patients for treatment with better facilities in 15 districts.
In 2012-13,the state government again proposed procurement of 150 new MMUs,meant for encephalitis-hit districts in the state,in the Project Implementation Plan (PIP),for which the Centre had sanctioned Rs 50.52 crore. The State Project Management Unit (SPMU) of NRHM,however,did not complete the procurement process as the vehicles for the units were yet to be acquired,sources in the SPMU said.
Now the SPMUs proposal for procurement of another 150 MMUs for the year 2013-14,for which the state had asked Rs 72.88 crore,remains unapproved after the Centre asked the state government to stick to the name,logo and colour scheme suggested by it rather than giving the scheme its own name.
The Director General (Family Welfare) UP,Dr Ved Prakash Gupta,said as of now,no MMUs are running in the state.
The MMUs were aimed at providing mother and child healthcare,immunisation programmes and other services offered at government health centres in targeted areas. The units also referred childbirth cases to the nearest government facilities. Each unit had a medical officer,a pharmacist,a staff nurse,a lab technician,a class-IV employee,and a driver.