Hek with Harsh Vardhan
Meghalaya health minister with union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. Image credit - Twitter @drharshvardhan

Meghalaya health minister A.L. Hek has sought a financial support of Rs 37.80 crore from the Centre for strengthening the healthcare services in the state.

Health minister Hek also sought the Centre’s support for establishing a training institute to conduct training for both technical and non-technical staff of the state’s health department.

The financial support was sought by health minister Hek, who urged the Centre through union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan when he submitted a memorandum to him in New Delhi.

In the memorandum, Hek outlined the state’s requirement for funds which include procurement of the state-of-the-art equipment for the two mother & child hospitals at Rs 10 crore for the 100-bedded mother & child hospital at Jowai in West Jaiñtia Hills district and Rs 6 crore for the 50-bedded mother & child hospital at Nongstoiñ, in West Khasi Hills district.

The minister informed Dr Vardhan that the state also required at least Rs 80 lakh to make the Blood Component Separation Unit, Tura in West Garo Hills fully equipped by procuring the required equipment.

The Blood Component Separation Unit at Tura is attached to the only blood bank which caters to the need of people in the five districts of the whole Garo Hills.

Hek also sought Rs 6 crore for purchasing additional fleet of 50 ambulances as the state has at present only 48 ambulances in all the 11 districts of the state. These ambulances will be placed in strategic locations to cater to people in need emergency services.

Meghalaya has 39 health blocks with over 444 health sub centres, 109 PHCs and 28 CHCs which is a challenge for timely reference of patients in need with just 48 ambulances.

Hek said that it is necessary to have an intelligent and functional referral system in order to bridge this gap, and to provide service in golden one hour for all patients.

Hek also sought a financial support of Rs 15 crore to establish a state-of-the-art training institute in Shillong.

The institute is being proposed under the Forward Linkages Scheme for conducting trainings for both technical and non-technical staff of the health and family welfare department in the state.

According to Hek, capacity building and training is a critical necessity to continuously build skills and increase competency of both medical and paramedical staff.

Hek also mentioned about a mission approach where the state has to implement wide ranging interventions and invest in quality of services to improve the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent (RMNCH+A) health status and to achieve the universal health coverage.

The state health minister hoped that this mission mode strategic approach to strengthen RMNCH+A health services in the state would also help take India closer to achieving its national health goals and sustainable development goals-3 to ensure healthy lives, and promote well-being of all, at all ages till 2030.

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