In the recent budget, Central Government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 1,484.72 crore for Health and Medical Education sector to be expended under Capital Expenditure for 2022-23. Continuing the wheel of unprecedented development in health infrastructure, the Center government has allocated a whopping budget for health sector which reflects commitment and concern of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, towards growth and welfare of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Some of the worth mentioning health infrastructure projects included two new AIIMS with a project cost of Rs 4000 crore one each at Jammu and Kashmir divisions, seven new Government Medical Colleges being established with a total outlay of Rs 1595 crore, ten new Nursing Colleges being set up with an approximate cost of Rs. 60 crore besides two State Cancer institutes worth Rs 240 crore, coming up one each at Jammu and Kashmir division.
Under AB PMJAY SEHAT scheme, universal health coverage scheme in convergence with Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) to provide free of cost insurance cover up to Rs 5 lakh per household per year is progressing smoothly. Nearly, 55.56 lakh beneficiaries have already been registered under the scheme while 1,592 medical packages, as approved under AB-PMJAY, are accessible to the beneficiaries of Jammu and Kashmir SEHAT scheme. It is expected that the pace of coverage will further be accelerated during 2022-23 to achieve the set target with the objective to cover all the residents of Jammu and Kashmir under this insurance cover.
An action plan has been framed to bring down the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) to a single digit for which necessary provision has been earmarked under the National Health Mission (NHM) budget. The government of Jammu and Kashmir intends to start the first batch of MBBS classes in both the new Medical colleges at Handwara (Kupwara) and Udhampur during academic session 2022-23, thereby increasing the overall intake capacity to 1,300 MBBS seats in the Union Territory. For better patient management and reduction of referrals, availability of doctors and specialists in new Government Medical Colleges will be increased.
All the remaining 7 Nursing colleges are targeted for completion during 2022-23. Regarding COVID Management, Jammu and Kashmir has emerged as a model for the entire country in management of COVID 19 pandemic. With 100% vaccination of eligible population, J&K has crossed the 20 million vaccine dose mark. The vaccination in respect of 15-17 age group has been started all across the Union Territory and 100% target will be achieved soon. Besides, Oxygen Generation Plants have increased by 87 with 90,300 Litres Per Minute (LPM) capacity addition.
Also, two 500 bedded hospitals were set up by DRDO in Jammu and Srinagar to fight Covid-19 pandemic. The government of Jammu and Kashmir has introduced “Saksham” scheme for the families who have lost their only breadwinner due to covid. Under the scheme, a scholarship of Rs 20,000 per annum is being provided to school going children and Rs 40,000 per annum to college going students through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
Besides, Rs 1,000 per month to the surviving spouse and eldest dependent family member are also provided under the scheme. The sincere and concerted efforts of government of Jammu and Kashmir with the help of central government has resulted in developing a strong public health infrastructure in the UT. Besides, the process of establishing world class health care facilities is going on with full pace which will change the face of healthcare system across the Union Territory in coming years.