Srinagar,May 25 – Close on the heels of urging non-resident doctors of the State to return home and improve quality of health services in the State, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said measures are afoot to upgrade health institutions manned by expert doctors to make treatment more affordable for the people.
He said SKIMS’ original mandate as super-specialty and referral institution can be restored only when the primary and secondary health institutions in the State are strengthened to cater to the needs of patients.
The Chief Minister said the government would upgrade SKIMS on priority and simplify procurement rules so that it improves its infrastructure, machinery, equipment and manpower. He said SKIMS should work only as a tertiary hospital and take steps so that load on it is progressively reduced.
Chairing the 32nd Governing Body Meeting of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) here at SKICC today, Mr. Abdullah said the prime concern of the government is to provide quality and affordable medical treatment to the people in the State. “Our effort is to equip districts and sub-district hospitals and primary health centres in the State with modern equipment, manned by competent and expert doctors”, he said, adding measures in this direction were already afoot.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather, Chief Secretary, S. S. Kapur, Financial Commissioner, Planning and Development, S. L. Bhat, Commissioner/Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, Commissioner/Secretary, Finance, Shudanshu Pandey, Director, SKIMS, Prof. Abdul Hamid Zargar, Principal, Government Medical College, Jammu, Principal, Medical College, Srinagar, Dr. G. Q. Allaqband, Dr. Mehraj-ud-Din and Dean Medical Facility, SKIMS.
Underlining the importance of bringing transparency in purchase of medicines, equipment and other consumable items for the hospitals, Chief Minister said a comprehensive view involving expert opinion and the requirement for particular item need to be taken into consideration. “There should be transparency and accountability in purchase of drugs and equipment for government hospitals”, Chief Minister asserted.
Calling for up-gradation of super-specialty disciplines in SKIMS, Mr. Abdullah stressed on prioritizing infrastructure development accordingly, adding construction work for most-needed blocks should get preference.
Mr. Abdullah directed Director SKIMS to take measures for keeping ECG equipment at every ward and at least one X-ray equipment at every floor so that patients were not put to inconvenience on this count. He also asked for keeping medicines available to the patients in SKIMS-run fair price outlets. He also emphasized the need for upgrading all paramedical facilities in the hospital.
Chief Minister also constituted a Committee, headed by Financial Commissioner, Planning, to work out suggestions for strengthening premier health institution of the State, besides looking for any purposeful and efficient consultancy required to develop modern faculties and super-specialty units in the institution.
The Governing Body, besides discussing follow up action taken on the decisions of its 31st meeting, also reviewed the progress of
Director, SKIMS gave a power-point presentation of the functioning of the medical institution, explaining various aspects of its rapid growth and futuristic plans to develop it further.
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