September 7, 2021 10:02:26 am
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said he hopes to utilise the Rs 265 crore that has been saved under the Mahatma Phule Jan Arogya Yojana, the state’s health insurance scheme, for setting up radiation centres for treating cancer patients across 10 districts.
“We have submitted this proposal to the Chief Minister’s Office and Deputy Chief Minister’s Office and once we get the go-ahead, the state can set up proper radiation centres at a cost of Rs 20 crore per district,” Tope told mediapersons. He was speaking after inaugurating the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Centre and telemedicine services at the Symbiosis University Hospital and research centre at Lavale.
The minister cited an instance where a patient required radiation treatment at a hospital in Aurangabad. “I was told that there was a waiting list and the patient would get an appointment only after a month. We hope to utilise a hub-and-spoke model where dependency would reduce on major centres like Mumbai and Pune, and these savings can be used for setting up radiation centres. There is also a need for setting up Cath labs at district hospitals and the savings made under the scheme can be utilised for that purpose,” Tope said. “Our focus is on non-communicable diseases, which have been neglected for too long,” he added.
The minister said the state government is also pursuing a proposal that has been submitted to the Union Finance Ministry, under which it can avail of Rs 5,000 crore from the Asian Development Bank at minimal interest rates to complete pending works like upgrading hospitals and setting up new rural hospitals. Due to paucity of funds, several projects have remained unfinished, Tope said.
“We have also vowed to fill all 17,000 vacant posts, including that of Class III and IV employees, by the first week of October.” Tope said.
After counselling and completing various formalities, doctors and nurses are being recruited while examinations will be held on September 25 and 26 for Class III and IV staff, and all efforts are being taken so that there are no vacant posts, he said.
‘We have asked for 3 crore Covid vaccine doses every month’
Tope also said that the state government had asked for three crore Covid-19 vaccine doses every month from the Centre. “However, we are getting only 1.25 crore doses,” he said. “Our aim is to vaccinate as many as possible so that with the first dose, at least there is some level of protection against Covid-19.”
He also said that the Maharashtra paediatric task force has prepared a standard operating procedure prior to reopening schools. While teaching and non-teaching staff have to be vaccinated, schools have to be sanitised and alternate day attendance can be allowed.
The School Education Department will study this proposal and then it will be sent to the Chief Minister’s Office.
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