Rural health mission facing hurdles: Sonia

April 29th, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) launched three years back to improve healthcare in the country’s 650,000 odd villages is facing implementation roadblocks mainly in north India, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi said here Tuesday. “There are difficulties, especially in the northern part of the country, to successfully implement the programme,” Gandhi said while addressing the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

Urging the private sector to play an important role, she said: “The private sector has a definite and growing role in rural healthcare programmes. The government will encourage such projects.”

Gandhi’s remarks on the performance of NRHM comes a couple of weeks after United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said that the rural health mission needed to be goal-oriented.

“The programme needs to be made more effective and goal-oriented. It needs very good managers who can work on a Gandhian mission and vocational commitment to improving rural health,’ Marzio Babille, head of health at Unicef India, had told IANS in an interview earlier this month.

The NRHM programme, carried out and controlled by the health ministry, was launched in 2005 to improve and upgrade healthcare facilities in rural India.

During the CII programme, the industry lobby announced the launch of ‘CII Healthy Villages Project’ that aims to persuade the corporate sector to create effective partnerships in select villages.

Naresh Trehan, renowned cardiologist and CII chairman on rural health task force, said the project would initially work in 100 villages. He said 12 corporate houses, including Hero Honda and Sriram Group, have already committed themselves to work in 54 villages.

Gandhi stressed that corporate houses should integrate health insurance schemes into such projects.

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