Manipur is striving towards health for all in the state by working towards providing almost all medical tests and medicines free of cost at the various government facilities of the state including Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). This endeavour by the state is to get underway from July 1, 2017 announced Chief Minister N. Biren Shah.
Speaking as Chief Guest at the “World no Tobacco Day” held at JNIMS auditorium on Wednesday , Mr. Shah revealed that 57 tests had been identified for the same and not a penny was to be charged from the patient for any of the notified tests.
The tests include : All blood tests, X ray, CT scan, all pregnant women and children tests.
All Government facilities including RIMS, JNIMS, District Hospitals, CHCs and PHCs would offer all the notified 57 tests free of cost, he further added.
Announcing another initiative of the government the Chief Minister said that the health authorities were looking for a partner to shoulder the free diagnostic scheme of the state government through a fair tender process. The partner is supposed to shoulder the free testing facilities by setting up additional testing labs which would have the support of the National Health Mission. The Minister clarified that no money would be charged of patients for the tests conducted by the partner company.
Mr. Shah revealed that the tender was already in an advanced stage and the scheme would be implemented in another 3 or 4 months . With both the state and its partner offering free teats, the poor are bound to benefit, he added.
The other very significant step being taken by the government revealed by the Minister was the drastic increase in the supply of free medication to the poor through Government health establishments.
He said, “Recently, we had launched the Jan Aushadhi stores selling generic medicines, where cost of generic medicines is much less than the branded medicines. We are now going to increase the free drug supply from about 100 medicines to over 300 types of medicines, which would cover almost all ailments. I urge the Health Department to fast track the tender process so that the additional free medicine supplies commence within the next three months”.
The Chief Minister said that the free drugs, tests initiative being undertaken by the government would result in the costs of treatment becoming next to negligible if not completely free.
On the bad effects of tobacco, Mr. Shah said that the government was planning to ban smoking in public places under Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 soon. He said that the state government intended to strictly implement the prohibition on tobacco and also continue working against intoxicants and tobacco items.
Health and Family Welfare Minister L. Jayantakumar , Union Minister of State for Health, Anupriya Patel and Parliamentary Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) S. Subhaschandra who also attended the function in different capacities spoke against the use of tobacco .
Anupriya Patel spoke of tobacco consumption and smoking as major threats to economic wellbeing and sustainable development of the country and the State. , L. Jayantakumar urged youth to stay away from tobacco items.
Subhaschandra while speaking at the function urged those present to give up smoking and use of tobacco products in order to save themselves from dreaded diseases like cancer reports Northeast today.
The function was jointly organized by Directorate of Health Services, Manipur, State Health Society, National Health Mission, Manipur and District Health Societies of Imphal East and Imphal West.