Azad moots incentives to make healthcare accessible in Kashmir

June 25th, 2009 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Incentives could be given to doctors and paramedics to urgently fill the vacancies in Jammu and Kashmir, where government hospitals face the dearth of health specialists, said union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Azad said the government’s priority was to make health facilities available to the people living in far-flung areas of the state.

He said the vacancies in the state health sector should be filled up through the process of “urgent recruitment of doctors or taking the private sector doctors on contract basis by the state government”.

Azad held a two-day review meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that ended in Srinagar Wednesday.

“The minister emphasised the need to provide accessible and affordable medical care in remote areas of the state,” said a statement issued here Thursday.

“He asked the state to fill up the vacancies of doctors, specialists and paramedical staff, particularly in the remote and very remote areas. If necessary, incentives may be given to induce the health staff to work in the remote areas,” it said.

The minister promised all help in providing manpower in remote and very remote areas.

He said specialists from the state could also undergo short-term training programmes in the premier health institutes like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and PGIMER-Chandigarh.

This was one of the series of meetings Azad, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, has undertaken with various states after taking charge as union health minister.

The minister has underlined that one of his main focus would be to strengthen the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government flagship programme - the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which aims to provide affordable and accessible health facilities to people living in the villages.

Abdullah has urged the health minister to provide additional assistance and continued support to upgrade the health facilities and infrastructure in the state.

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