Free drugs in govt hospitals

Free drugs in govt hospitals

The Centre is planning to launch a Rs 20,000-crore scheme to distribute free medicines through government hospitals and health centres to ease the burden of people.

“We are formulating a scheme for distribution of free medicines through government hospitals and health centres,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in his Independence Day speech at Red Fort. The scheme aims at providing medical facility to around 52 pc of the needy in the public health domain over the next five years. Sources said around 2 per cent of the rural population “are pushed into poverty every year due to the costs of health care.”

Besides, the government is planning to launch a National Health Mission during the 12th plan period, which will merge the already existing National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).

The urban health mission is pending approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, sources in the Health Ministry told Deccan Herald.

In its first phase of implementation, the NUHM will be launched in 770 cities by October-November. It will emphasise on ensuring more institutional deliveries, vaccination for children and treatment for tuberculosis and HIV patients, besides the facilities already available under the NRHM at present. An urban social health activist will be appointed in each colony, on the lines of the accredited social health activists under the NRHM.

“After the success of the NRHM, we now want to expand the scope of health services in towns also. NRHM will be converted into a national health mission to cover all villages and towns in the country,” Singh said.

“The NUHM will happen in two steps, the first of which will be the launch of the NUHM and the subsequent marriage of the NRHM and NUHM. It will be realised after the National Development Council clears the 12th plan in September 2012,” sources in the Health Ministry said.

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