New medical colleges will save lives in rural areas, says Jagan

CM lays stone for 14 facilities virtually; offers land free for pvt. super speciality hospitals

At a time when the global pandemic is raging across the country, a significant step towards scaling up public health facilities in rural areas across the State was taken on Monday. In tune with the National Health Policy, the State government had decided to set up 16 new medical colleges in rural areas which will provide tertiary medical facilities.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy virtually laid the foundation stone for the construction of 14 out of the 16 medical colleges/teaching hospitals each at Piduguralla (Guntur), Machilipatnam (Krishna), Vizianagaram, Anakapalle (Visakhapatnam), Rajahmundry (East Godavari), Amalapuram (East Godavari), Palakollu (West Godavari), Eluru (West Godavari), Bapatla (Guntur), Markapuram (Prakasam), Madanapalle (Chittoor), Penukonda (Anantapur), Nandyal (Kurnool) and Adoni (Kurnool).

“I am happy that we are beginning yet another massive project by laying the foundation stone for 14 out of the 16 new medical colleges/teaching hospitals and nursing colleges across the State. The work on Paderu and Pulivendula (the other two hospitals) has begun already. I am happy that the new medical colleges will create a new ecosystem in these areas benefiting a vast number of people. As these new colleges are being set up in rural areas, they will save precious lives and reduce the stress on teaching hospitals in district headquarters. We are spending ₹16,000 crore on scaling up infrastructure in the Primary Health Centres, Area Hospitals and GGH in district headquarters. We do not have tertiary health care facilities like in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru, but now we can say that there will be excellent tertiary health care facilities in each Parliamentary constituency,’’ said Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The construction of new medical colleges was scheduled to be completed within three years at an estimated cost of ₹8,000 crore. The government was also setting up 500-bed hospitals along with medical colleges, with modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, the Chief Minister said.

“I also want to encourage active private participation in medical infrastructure like in bigger cities of Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. Our government will allot five acres of land free of cost to private hospitals that are ready to invest ₹100 crore and start super speciality hospitals in three years,’’ said Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Village Clinics

The government had also taken up the Nadu-Nedu initiative, changing the face of government institutions ensuring to meet the national standards with an expenditure of ₹16,300 crore. The establishment of 10,111 YSR Village Clinics was under way creating access to healthcare in every village in addition to setting up of two PHCs in every mandal, 560 Urban Health Centres, 52 Area Hospitals and 190 CHCs. He said that the government was setting up five multi-speciality hospitals in tribal areas at a cost of ₹246 crore, which would be accessible for the tribal population in remote areas in the next three years.

Aarogyasri expanded

The Chief Minister said that the current government breathed life into the Aarogyasri programme by bringing 2,436 treatments under it and ensuring the scheme was applicable if the bill amount exceeded ₹1,000. He said ₹5,215 crore had been paid by the Aarogyasri Trust, in the last two years where ₹3,560 crore was spent on Aarogyasri treatments, ₹303 crore for Aarogya Aasara, ₹510 crore on employees’ health scheme, ₹452 crore on 104 and 108 services and ₹390 crore for pensions for chronic patients. He said Andhra Pradesh was the first State to include treatment for COVID-19 and black fungus under Aarogyasri. The government was also providing free eye check-up for all under YSR Kanti Velugu and conducting cochlear implant surgeries for children, with an aim to make Andhra Pradesh free from deaf and mute children.

Deputy Chief Minister (Medical and Health) Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas (Nani), Minister for Energy Balineni Srinivas, MP Mithun Reddy, Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das, Additional DGP Ravi Shankar Ayyanar, Medical and Health Chief Secretary Anil Kumar Singhal, COVID Task Force Committee Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu, Family Welfare Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar, 104 Call Centre Incharge A. Babu, Aarogyasri CEO Dr. Mallikharjun, APMSIDC VC and MD V. Vijayarama Raju and others were present.

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