Tukaram Mundhe, who took charge as the National Health Mission Director and Health Services Commissioner, Maharashtra, said the focus will be on setting up a resilient and robust health system. Mundhe told The Indian Express the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can have devastating consequences across Maharashtra and the aim would be to ensure “maximum people reach out to our health and wellness centres”.
Mundhe, who took charge from Dr Ramaswamy N, took stock of various health programmes. “There is an increasing disease burden due to non-communicable diseases. Prevention and timely treatment is important and the effort will be to provide accessible and affordable health care services,” he said.
Mundhe was among the 44 senior officials, who were transferred last week as part of a major bureaucratic reshuffle by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led government. Mundhe, a 2005 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was transferred from the post of Secretary, State Human Rights Commission. He earlier served as the Municipal Commissioner, Nagpur Municipal Corporation.
The directorate of health services, Maharashtra, had recently within a year of the implementation of its project – ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) to minimise the number of premature deaths due to cardiovascular disease had helped in the quick diagnosis of more than 2,000 heart attacks. The health authorities in Maharashtra had said that nearly 2.5 lakh people were screened using artificial intelligence assisted technology that allows the patients to receive prompt treatment.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the socioeconomic costs associated with NCDs make prevention and control of these diseases imperative. Mundhe said that their effort would be in a similar direction. “Apart from the rural areas, the focus is also on improving urban health as at least 40 per cent of the poor population is based in these areas. Hence, our effort would be to not only provide programmatic interventions but also promote telehealth that allows the physician or healthcare provider to check the person at home using remote monitoring,” he added.