Millennium Post

Industrial powerhouse Gujarat has also made huge leaps in health & social sectors: Dy CM

Gandhinagar: With reports of the death of 111 new-born babies in five months at an Adani-run hospital in Bhuj, Gujarat's health care system is once again facing questions. However, Deputy Chief Minister and the Health Minister Nitin Patel claimed that the incumbent BJP government has done intensive work in this sector and has introduced many schemes to take a measure on mortality rate and infant mortality rate (IMR).
Speaking to Millennium Post, Patel asserted that the Government has initiated a survey on women and families in both urban and rural areas. "Our health and family welfare schemes take care of a pregnant woman till she delivers her child. The health policies do also ensure a healthy baby and its proper care. The rate of delivery of a child in maternity hospitals is 100 per cent in the entire state of Gujarat," Patel pointed out.
"The maternal death rate and infant death rate have decreased in the state and making the graph further low is our key target. We have also come up with more specialty and super-specialty hospitals in both the urban and rural areas," the minister added.
NITI Ayog Chairman Rajiv Kumar had claimed in an interview early this year that Gujarat has done a lot of good work in industrialisation but its progress in the education and health sectors has not been commensurate. Patel said he is not aware of such a statement but emphatically asserted that there are no loopholes. Even last year, the death of 18 new-borns within three days reported at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital caused a massive outrage in Gujarat, forcing the state health department to order a probe. This time too it ordered an inquiry on Friday.
Gujarat Health Commissioner Jayanti Ravi observed, "The government has appointed health officers in various parts of the state. They visit different places, including sensitive zones, and stay at night depending on the seriousness of the situation. The government is also trying to strengthen new-born babies' care. This has resulted in a decrease in IMR from 48 to 30."
"Iron tablets, nutritious foods are being provided to pregnant women and the mother of a newborn under 'spot feeding' scheme through Micro Self-help groups," she added. With the collaboration of IGNOU and Indian Institute of Public Health, the Gujarat government has also planned nursing bridge courses . It is a six-month course and aims to fill up the vacancies in the rural health care system. "Sometimes MBBS doctors are reluctant to serve in remote areas. Therefore, this will eventually fill the gap," explained a government health official .
The data further shows that the number of MBBSes in the state has increased from 1,300 in 2001 to 4,200 in 2018.
Nitin Patel also added that the state government is planning a combined health insurance scheme of MA Yojana (of the state government) and of the new health insurance scheme by the centre.
Recently, GVK EMRI, which operates 108 ambulance services in the state, launched two boat ambulances for the coastal region. It has also come up with neonatal ambulances in order to ensure emergency transfers for neonates who require more specialist treatment at another hospital. This is primarily launched to reduce the IMR as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is specially designed to attend pediatric emergencies.
There are a total of 580 ambulances run by by GVK EMRI across the state apart from Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Madhya Pradesh.
ASHA workers in the village areas have also been provided with TeCHO mobile application -- a community-based safe motherhood and child survival platform inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last year.
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