The Union Health Ministry has mooted a proposal for monitoring construction activity and service delivery in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) by independent accredited agencies.
The proposal,which comes seven years after the scheme kicked off in 2005,was discussed in a recent Empowered Programme Committee the highest decision making body of the NRHM meeting,headed by Health Secretary P K Pradhan. The committee has asked the Mission Directorate to firm up the proposal on some specific issues and present it in the next meeting. This is the first time that the ministry,which has down the years taken cover behind the health is a state subject line,has talked of a monitoring system.
As per the proposal moved by the Mission Directorate,it was stated that given that NRHM has three main components construction of facilities,procurement and service delivery and as the Central Procurement Agency,which is in the works,would take care of malpractices in the second to some extent,there should be a system of independent monitoring and periodical inspections of the other two by reputed agencies.
The move comes in the wake of some heated exchanges in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh election campaign with Chief Minister Mayawati hinting at collusion of Health Ministry officials in the Rs 10,000 crore NRHM scam in the state and taking a strong stand that the Centre cannot write off all responsibility in what happens in the schemes it funds.