Despite not ranking high in health indicators,Orissa was the star at the recently held first ever workshop of state health secretaries on National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) with spotlight on the states public-private partnership in health sector. Keeping political differences aside,the UPA government felt the model was worth emulating. Earlier the Urban Development Ministry had lauded Gujarat for its land-use policy.
At the workshop,the PPP guidelines for urban slum health projects in seven cities in Orissa along with that for urban health centres drawn up by National Rural Health Mission Directorate were distributed as models that other states could adopt. In fact,all the materials given to state representatives were sourced from Orissa and there were no materials from any other state.
PPP provisions,including NGOs,is a key focus area of the urban mission and states have been asked to enter into service-level pacts with private players. Health Ministry sources said Orissa was chosen as a model because the state has been working with NGOs in the health sector since 2007. It is one of the few states where PPP has been a focus area of governance. The state has made good progress and the urban slum projects with NGOs are working well. It is an experience worth emulating, said an official.
Meanwhile,July has been set as deadline for states to complete their initial baseline survey for NUHM. The ministry has been assured of adequate funding when the revised estimates are drawn up in September.
Municipal corporations will implement NUHM in seven mega cities: Delhi,Kolkata,Mumbai,Chennai,Bengaluru,Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Urban local bodies and district health societies will be responsible for its implementation in smaller cities.
The states have been asked to be mindful of various psycho-social maladies of urban slums. Domestic and sexual violence,child abuse,incidence of HIV-AIDS,trafficking issues have to be tackled in any successful urban health initiative targeting the slum population. In many of these issues,NGOs are already doing a good job. States only have to identify these organisations and enter into tie-ups, said Anuradha Gupta,additional secretary and mission director of NRHM,who is now also the MD for the National Health Mission.