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TAMIL NADU

`Government focussing on rural healthcare’

Saturday 2 July 2005

Special Correspondent

Plan to upgrade district hospitals; Chennai sets an example

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NEW-LOOK GH: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa inspects the new facilities in the Twin Tower block at the Government General Hospital in Chennai on Friday. - Photo: V. Ganesan

CHENNAI: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday emphasised Chennai’s capacity to attract and treat patients from all over the country. Dedicating the twin tower blocks of the Government General Hospital to the public, she said this was achieved with meticulous planning and a commitment towards improving crucial development indicators.

Today, the city was an example to the rest of the nation in terms of health indicators: it possessed state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment and experts in the medical field, all achieved through pioneering policy decisions, she said.

She detailed the achievements of Tamil Nadu in the healthcare sector over the past few years. Over 99 per cent of all deliveries in the State took place either in hospitals or under the supervision of trained personnel. Of this, 55 per cent of deliveries took place in the government sector, making it one of the highest in the country.

Infant mortality rate

The infant mortality rate, which was 51 (per 1000 live births) in 2000, has dropped to 30 now and as for maternal mortality rate, there has been a 25 per cent drop compared to 2001. Special attention was being paid to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, blindness control, non-communicable diseases and control of infectious diseases.

The rural health scenario was another area the State Government was focussing on.

It was the intention of the Government to create high quality medicare on a par with urban areas. She outlined an elaborate plan to upgrade district, taluk, health sub centre and primary health centre level hospitals. A recent government order mandates that every panchayat union without easy access to any other hospital must have a 30-bed health facility, the Chief Minister said.

Vacancies to be filled

Efforts have been taken to fill vacancies in all PHCs and government hospitals, with 3917 doctors being appointed in the last four years.

The six-floor tall towers at the GH, constructed at a cost of Rs. 104.47 crores, house trauma and emergency rooms, state-of-the-art operation theatres and the largest blood bank in the country.

The blood bank is equipped with blood cell and component separators, and a storage unit that can hold 3000 blood bags.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated a bone bank, said to be the first of its kind in India.

Chief Secretary N. Narayanan said that at the National Development Council meeting, held recently in Delhi, the Tamil Nadu health model had been praised as one to be emulated. Park Town MLA S.G. Vinayagamurthi said the twin towers looked so impressive that they would soon become a `must’ on a sight-seeing tour of Chennai. Health Minister Thalavai Sundaram said a lot of foreigners are coming to Chennai to seek treatment and that the city was growing as a health tourism destination.

Health Secretary Sheela Rani Chunkath thanked the Chief Minister for being an impetus in the completion of the GH twin tower project.

See online : The Hindu

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