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Changing face of Healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir


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In 2018, India launched Ayushman Bharat – one of the most ambitious health missions ever to expand Universal Health Coverage, especially in rural and vulnerable populations. This initiative has been designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its underlying commitment, which is to “leave no one behind.” Ayushman Bharat is an attempt to move from sectoral and segmented approach of health service delivery to a comprehensive need-based health care service. Ayushman Bharat aims to undertake path breaking interventions to holistically address health at primary, secondary and tertiary level. The aim is to provide essential health services throughout the country, through the four pillars of this programme:
* Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs)
* Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)
* Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission
* Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission
As a part of this process, the Government of India has been working towards transforming the landscape of healthcare in Jammu & Kashmir as well. There are several new initiatives being launched in J&K, which have helped in improving the infrastructure, and overall healthcare facilities. Through health schemes and new development projects, the healthcare sector in Jammu and Kashmir has made great strides, and several milestones have been achieved over the past few years in the state.
Healthcare Schemes in Jammu and Kashmir: 
* In order to provide welfare measures for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the SEHAT Scheme was launched in convergence with Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
* ABPMJAY SEHAT scheme is the worldfs largest health insurance scheme fully financed by Government. Citizens with Ayushman Bharat Golden Card get free treatment up to Rs. Five lakh in all government and empanelled private hospitals across India. This ambitious health insurance scheme enables all the residents of J&K including employees and pensioners as well as their families to avail cashless quality healthcare services across public and empanelled private hospitals across India.
* Under Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT Scheme, 55.56 lakh beneficiaries have been registered, 40.95 lakh people have been issued golden cards, 4.72 lakh families have cards for at least one family member.
* Recently, the Samba district of Jammu division became the first district in India to cover 100% households under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (ABPMJAY)- SEHAT scheme.
Medical education in J&K:
Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a historic decision on August 5, 2019, of ending Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu & Kashmir, development efforts have picked up in the UT of J&K and there has been a marked improvement in various sectors including the health sector.
* Earlier there were only four medical colleges in Jammu & Kashmir, today seven new medical colleges have been established. Earlier there were 500 medical seats, now 2,000 students can pursue MBBS degree from J&K.
* Work is currently under progress on two All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Sambha and Awantipora at the cost of Rs. 2000 crore each. AIIMS at Sambha, Jammu and Awantipora, Kashmir shall be established by 2023 and 2025 respectively, whereas the M.B.B.S classes for these institutions in makeshift arrangements have started from the next academic session.
* Five Govt. Medical Colleges have been made functional at Anantnag, Baramulla, Rajouri, Doda and Kathua and classes have started in four Colleges for one year M.B.B.S Courses.
* Govt. of India has sanctioned funds for establishment of a State Cancer Institute at Govt. Medical College, Jammu at an approved cost of Rs. 120.00 crore, and work on ground has commenced.
* The Medical Education department has proposed to establish two Medical Universities, one each at Jammu & Srinagar, to cater to the needs of 10 Medical Colleges, Nursing Colleges, Paramedical Colleges etc.
Health Infrastructure:
* A total of Rs 7,177 crore has been invested in development projects for the health sector in J&K.
* Work on a 500 bedded hospital in Srinagar has been completed at a cost of Rs. 115 crore.9
* Modernization of all hospitals is being carried out at an outlay of Rs. 900 crore. 
* A 500-bedded Paediatric Hospital at Bemina & 200 bedded Maternity Hospital at Gandhi Nagar, Jammu are being made functional. 
* Under Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme, Dialysis Centres were established/made functional at Jammu, Udhampur, Rajouri, Kathua, Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Pulwama, Poonch, Kishtwar, Kulgam, Kupwara & Doda. 
* Health Care Investment Policy 2019 was adopted in UT of J&K for promoting private parties and entrepreneurs to set up health care infrastructure in UT of J&K. Two Medicities are being established, one each in Jammu and Kashmir. The operational guidelines are being finalised.
Milestones in J&K healthcare:
* The Neo-natal Mortality Rate (NNMR) of J&K has reached single digit at 9.8 per 1000 live births, recording a 13.3 point decrease.
* Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has declined to 16.3 with a decrease of 16 points.
* Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) has declined to 18.5 with a decrease of 19 points.
* Sex Ratio at birth has also recorded an improvement from 923 to 976.
* Antenatal Check-ups (ANC) of pregnant mothers in the first trimester have increased from 76.7% to 86.6%.
* Institutional births have increased from 85.5% to 92.4%.
* Percentage of fully immunised children (12- 23 months) against vaccine preventable diseases has increased to 96.5% which is the second highest in the country.
* Life Expectancy at Birth in J&K has reached 74 years, which is highest in the country after Kerala and Delhi, while the national average is 69.4 years.
Measures taken by the Government during COVID:
* During the first wave of COVID, assistance of Rs 1000 per month for four months was given to over 1.7 lakh workers. Over 70,000 destitute, slum dwellers, migrant labourers were provided with ration and other necessities. Rs 183 crore was released to MGNREGA workers through DBT. 
* During the second wave of COVID, Rs 55 crore was provided for COVID Mitigation measures. The first instalment of over Rs 34.50 crore was provided to 3,49,303 active construction workers at Rs 1000 per beneficiary. Rs 1000 per month for two more months provided to 27,893 beneficiaries involving Rs 5.58 crore. 
* J&K has 100% vaccine coverage for the population of age group 18 years and above with both the doses. The state is nearing 100% coverage for the population of age group 15 -18 years of age with first dose. 
* In order to meet the additional requirement of Medical Oxygen facilities in the prevailing situation of COVID-19, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has started installation of Oxygen Generation Plants/ Manifold Gas Pipeline system in 37 COVID dedicated Health institutions at a cost of Rs 223.80 crore under Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Budget 2020-21. Besides, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GoI has provided 908 additional ventilators for various hospitals of the UT in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. (PIB)

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