Jammu : The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta Monday chaired a meeting to review the functioning of the Health & Medical Education Department and took stock of the physical and financial targets achieved this financial year.
The Additional Chief Secretary, Health & Medical Education Department, Director, SKIMS, concerned HoDs, Principals of all Medical Colleges and other senior officers of the Department attended the meeting.
At the outset, Additional Chief Secretary, Health & Medical Education Department gave a presentation drawing a picture of the functioning of the Department in general, and achievements under various sectors in particular viz. Health Institutions including Medical Colleges, NHM, Emergency Covid-19 Response Package (ECRP), National Ayush Mission, National Aids Control Programme, healthcare infrastructure development and other Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
While discussing ECRP, Chief Secretary directed Principals of all Medical Colleges and Director, Health Services to ensure that the status report with respect to medical equipment like ventilators, beds etc. human resource, oxygen plants, Liquid Medical Oxygen is made available to the concerned authorities within a day, so that any issue identified, is addressed, or an alternate arrangement is made in time, to cater to any emergent situation.
The Chief Secretary observed that Jammu & Kashmir has made significant progress towards achieving 100% coverage in immunization of children as per the National Immunization Schedule, and asked the department to launch a campaign reaching out to the people with an aim to cover all left out children within a period of 3-4 months. The Chief Secretary further observed that considering 94% of births in J&K are institutional births, the department should explore to make the immunization record of each child digitally available, which can be extracted to an application like DigiLocker.
With respect to the Centrally Sponsored Schemes, the Chief Secretary asked the concerned Directors of Health Services to ensure that the payments under all schemes are made directly into the Aadhar linked bank accounts of the end beneficiaries timely, without any delay and backlog if any, needs to be immediately addressed. The Chief Secretary directed the concerned to ensure 100% saturation of Golden Cards under Universal Health Insurance.
While reviewing the status of the new Medical Colleges, the Chief Secretary directed that all Medical Colleges must be made fully functional by end March, 2022. He asked the Department to ensure that any issue related to infrastructure, equipment or manpower is addressed by that time.
The Chief Secretary was apprised that the basic project of the Cancer Institute at SKIMS, Srinagar is complete, has been commissioned and is operational. It was also informed that the similar institute at GMC, Jammu will also be made functional by March, 2022.
With a view to improve the standards of healthcare at all institutions across J&K, the Chief Secretary said that the level of healthcare made available to the people should be at par with cities like Mumbai and Chandigarh so that any individual is not compelled to travel to cities outside J&K to avail specialized healthcare. Dr. Mehta observed that the hospitals should come up with SOPs of an exchange programme or an excellence group wherein doctors can discuss medical cases and the line of treatment cutting across different hospitals.
The Chief Secretary observed that all hospitals need to maintain a high level of hygiene and cleanliness and should have a quality policy in place immediately. He asked the department to develop an online healthcare feedback system so that the satisfaction level amongst the people can be gauged and improvements can be made. Dr. Mehta noted that the hospitals need to have a proper referral system in place, indicating the name of the doctor referring the case, to curb avoidable referrals. He also directed the concerned to evolve a system in line with CAB for patient waiting-areas in the hospitals, adding that the hospitals should also put a check on the number of attendants that accompany a patient.
With respect to under-utilized medical equipment, Dr. Mehta asked the concerned Directors to furnish a report to the Administrative Department within a week indicating any kind of hospital equipment that is lying un-utilized. He further directed the concerned to ensure that the list of medicines that are available free of cost is conspicuously displayed in the hospitals, for public awareness.