Focus on improving maternal and child health and also to address nutritional
Compulsory one-year rural internship for MBBS
Two-year mandatory assignment with secondary
hospitals for post-graduates mooted
HYDERABAD: Interventions to reduce maternal and infant
mortality rates, comprehensive health care for children studying in government
schools, special incentive regime to retain professionals in government stream
are among the slew of reforms being initiated to improve health outcomes of all
sections, especially the vulnerable groups.
Concerned by the slow progress of health-related Millennium
Development Goals, the government initiated the measures which aim to revitalise
the primary health system by carving out 360 Community Health and Nutrition
Clusters (CHNCs) across the rural areas. It was also being contemplated to make
one-year's rural internship compulsory for MBBS graduates and two-year mandatory
assignment with secondary hospitals for post-graduates.
With health parameters of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes
showing to be twice as bad as that of general population and with nearly half of
all children below five and women in reproductive age being under-nourished, the
reforms would focus not only on improving maternal and child health but also
address nutritional deficiencies on a sustainable basis, Secretary (Health), P.V.
Ramesh told The Hindu here on Thursday.
Describing the new measures as “landmark changes”, he said
they were aimed at improving the overall healthcare delivery.
Each CHNC would provide integrated primary health services
covering a population of one to two lakh people. At the centre of the CHNC would
be the first referral unit—a Community Health Centre (CHC) or an Area
Hospital—that would support four to 10 Primary Health Centres (PHCs).
Each cluster hospital would also house a Cluster Health
Officer (CHO) who would coordinate and monitor the functioning of all PHCs and
sub-centres within the cluster.
Apart from rationalising the service areas of all health
institutions to ensure equitable geographical access to all citizens, it was
planned to make every PHC function round-the-clock by the end of 2011. Each PHC
would also be mobile with the medical officer visiting all sub-centres on a
fixed day twice a month.
With the Primary Health Centres becoming almost
non-functional, the new model would establish a direct link between the Primary
Health Centres, sub-centre and the village, Mr. Ramesh added.
In a bid to provide a clear career path to every employee
and ensure accountability across the operational spectrum, a Human Resources
Directorate is proposed to be established.