Omar for declaring medicare as a fundamental right

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JAMMU : Underlining the health as the first basic requirement of highest importance in human life, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Saturday said that the right to medicare should be recognized as a fundamental right of the people in the country so that they are legally empowered to seek the best available medical treatment free of cost in government health centres and hospitals all over in the country.
“While the UPA-II Government has enacted path breaking and historic laws for declaring Right to Food and Right to Education as the basic rights for every citizen of the country, I hope the UPA-III which he prophesied to come to power after ensuing Parliament Election, will enact the necessary legislation in the Parliament making free medical treatment to all the citizens of the country as a fundamental right”, he said and substantiated this necessity by highlighting the significance of a healthy society in a developed and advanced country.
Jointly inaugurating the Arogya Mela-2013 with the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad at Parade Ground here, Omar Abdullah said that the health status of a society indicates its growth and development. He said without ensuring full health coverage to the citizens ‘we cannot claim comprehensive and holistic development’. He said all sorts of developments are subservient to the development of health as such universalization of healthcare facilities in a society should essentially be of highest degree and medical institutions delivering in a best manner.
Describing Jammu and Kashmir a State of medicinal plants, the Chief Minister said that his government has taken various steps to harness this potential of the state and utilize it for both for Health and Economic purposes. He said awareness regarding the efficacy of Indian System of Medicine needs further push. He said people for not having full details and practical effectiveness of Indian System of Medicines are not inclined to utilize these enthusiastically. “The entire stake holders in this field need to focus this aspect in a comprehensive manner”, he added
“Melas like Arogya Mela-2013 provide opportunity to people to know about the medicines their ancestors used to treat different diseases since centuries. They should take best advantage of AYUSH to get various diseases treated effectively”, Omar said and asked the Department of Indian System of Medicine to organize such Fairs at other places in the State. He said a similar Mela in Srinagar some years earlier had a good impact on the popularization of Indian System of Medicine.
The Chief Minister congratulated the Union Health Ministry for organizing Arogya Mela-2013 in the State and said that its liberal support to the State Government to strengthen Health Sector would continue. He asked the people to take best advantage of the 4-day Arogya Mela and get themselves checked up by the qualified doctors of Indian System of Medicine.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that a new scheme namely Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) launched in the country in July-2013 will be shortly started in Jammu and Kashmir. He said 27 crore children are targeted to be screened and treated under this scheme in the country.
Azad said that AYUSH and Allopathic Centres are being co-located in 52000 newly constructed health buildings in the country to provide both facilities of Indian System of Medicine and Allopathic Medicines under one roof. He said in Jammu and Kashmir 398 Primary Health Centres have been co-located with Indian System of Medicine and Allopathic treatment.
The Union Health Minister said that the Union Government has provided financial assistance to the State Government for construction and upgradation of 322 health centres and hospitals in the State. He asked the executing agencies of these centres to provide timely utilization certificates for the funds expanded on the works so the flow of money from the Centre remains unabated and without any cut. He said in order to make the jobs lucrative for doctors in the rural and far-flung areas the monthly remuneration for them have been raised to the level of Rs.55000 with the central initiative. He said the Union Government has also assisted the State Government to get 485 ambulances and make over 10600 Asha Workers functional. He said that the annual grants under National Rural Health Mission to the state have been increased from Rs.232 crores to Rs.436 crores.
The Union Minister also gave resume of the JSSK scheme which provides for free treatment to the pregnant women and infants in the government hospitals throughout the period of pregnancy and after the delivery to the child till he or she attains the age of one year. He also highlighted the initiative of AYUSH and said that six systems of medicines namely, Ayurveda, Yoga-naturalpathy, Unani, Sidda, Sowa-rigga and Homeopathy under its ambit to popularize the treatment of different diseases under the Indian System of Medicine.
Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the holding of Arogya Mela in Jammu in the month of December is aimed at reaching out to people from all across the State as a large number of people from other district of the State remain in Jammu during the winter months. He said a similar Mela will be organized in Kathua district in the next week.
The function was addressed by the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Santosh Chowdhary, State Minister for Health and Medical Education, Shabir Ahmed Khan, Union Secretary, AYUSH, N. Sanyal and Director, Indian System of Medicine, Dr. Abdul Kabir.
In his welcome address, Dr. Kabir gave the overview of the functioning of the Directorate of Indian System of Medicine in the State. He referred to the keenness of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah in the holistic improvement and enhancement of accessibility to healthcare to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He also made reference to the Task Force on Health Sector headed by Chief Minister and said that the highest forum under the chairmanship of Chief Minister reviews and monitor the functioning, reforms and improvement in the healthcare sector in the State.
He also mentioned the role of Union Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad for providing all assistance to the state to upgrade its health institutions. He said the development of Indian System of Medicine receives due central attention for strengthening and the growth.
Present on the occasion among others were Ministers, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, Abdul Majid Wani, Raman Bhalla, Minister of State, Vikar Rasool, MPs, Madan Lal Sharma, Choudhary Lal Singh, Vice Chairman, Gujjar Advisory Board, Bashir Ahmed Naaz, various Legislators, Commissioner Secretary, Health, Gazzanfar Hussain, various senior officers from the State and the Central Government, doctors of Indian System of Medicine and senior citizens.

Photographs by: CJ Ashish

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