The Jammu and Kashmir government has submitted a comprehensive proposal seeking over Rs 367 crore funding from the World Bank for strengthening of healthcare institutions including dedicated COVID hospitals and ICUs and procurement of critical care ambulances in the union territory, senior health officials said.
The proposal has been prepared by the health and medical education department with the objective of providing state-of-the-art medical services and facilities to people living in urban areas as well as the remotest parts of the union territory, they said.
“A comprehensive proposal was formulated amounting to Rs 367.48 crore (approximately US$ 50 million) and submitted for funding from World Bank,” Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, J&K, Atal Dulloo said.
Jammu and Kashmir does not have a major or middle-level chain of hospitals on the lines of those operating in the rest of the country, except Batra hospital in the private sector. A latest report on manpower audit in the health department reveals that nearly 99 per cent of the UT’s healthcare needs are met by public health institutes, underlying the importance of the government healthcare system.
“In 2018-19 at least 2.39 crore OPD visits of patients were recorded in J&K and out of them 99.2 percent (2.22 crore patients) were seen only in government hospitals. The private sector accounted for a minuscule 0.8 percent of all OPD visits,” as per the report.
Besides, 96.6 per cent (8.36 lakh) patients who needed admission availed public health facilities while 91.3 per cent of all deliveries took place in government hospitals, the report said.
Dulloo said the proposal includes strengthening of dedicated COVID hospitals, intensive care units, operation theatres and laboratory services at district hospitals, procurement of critical care ambulances, power backup in district hospitals and provision of manifold and gas pipelines system in community health centres (CHCs) and sub-division hospitals (SDHs) in Jammu and Kashmir divisions.
The health department officials have claimed this is for the first time that Jammu and Kashmir is undergoing a massive and speedy upgradation and expansion of healthcare institutes including setting up of AIIMS, several medical colleges, medical health insurance for all the citizens, bringing investment into the private health care sector, new health care policy and modernisation of rural hospital infrastructure.
The official also focussed on the setting up of a system to feed gas to hospitals. “Establishment of manifold and gas pipelines system has been proposed in 15 CHCs each in Jammu and Kashmir Divisions, with higher patient load and where such facilities are not available. The total financial implication for setting up these services is Rs 60 crore,” he added.
Giving details of the proposal, Dulloo said to strengthen dedicated COVID hospitals, machinery and equipment like high flow oxygen devices, modular monitors, nebulizers, oxygen concentrators, infusion pumps, color doppler machines, four 128 slice CT scan machines for government medical college (GMC) Rajouri, GMC Kathua, SDH Sopore and district hospital (DH) Reasi has been proposed with the financial implication of Rs 61.16 crore.
He maintained that his department is steadfast in strengthening its critical care units to cater to the vast population.
“For strengthening of intensive care units in all the district hospitals including associated hospitals of new GMCs, equipment like portable ECG machines, cardiac monitors, ABG analyzers, X-ray machines, hemo dialysis machines (paediatrics) has been proposed with total financial implication of Rs 17.18 crore”, Dulloo said.
To strengthen operation theatres in all district hospitals including five associated hospitals of new GMCs, the machinery and equipment like operation table hydraulic (major and minor), OT lights, autoclaves, sterilizers, diathermy machines, ultrasonic cutting and coagulation devices, anesthesia workstations, surgery instrument sets have been proposed with the financial implication of Rs 110.11 Crore.
Dulloo said strengthening of laboratory services in all the district hospitals and five associated hospitals of new GMCs have been proposed with the installation of machinery and equipment like fully automated biochemistry auto-analyzer, water purification system, bio-safety cabinets, histopathology equipments, blood component separators, deep freezers, haematology analyzer with 22 parameters, etc. With financial implication of Rs 81.44 crore.
Elaborating on the expansion of healthcare institutes in the rural belts, he said the district hospitals do not have power back up systems. “The power backup system in districts hospitals and some sub-district hospitals has been proposed with installation of power back up high capacity electronic oscillator system at the cost of Rs 15 crore”, Dulloo said.
He also spelled out the plan to strengthen the critical care transport setup in Jammu and Kashmir, which mostly comprises a hilly terrain. “The procurement of 60 critical care ambulances has been proposed at the cost of Rs 22.59 crore. These ambulances shall become part of 108 ambulance services in the union territory of J&K,” he added.