Azad lays foundation of Vitasta Hospital in Jammu

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Azad lays foundation of Vitasta Hospital in Jammu
Jammu (India) December 23, 2009

Report & images by Raman Raina

Lauding Jammuites for extending shelter and other facilities to the people migrated from the Valley following the eruption of militancy Union Minister for Health, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that the gesture shown by the people of Jammu was unmatched example of nationalism and mutual brotherhood.

Mr. Azad was speaking after laying foundation of Vitasta Hospital, being constructed by Vitasta Health Care Trust managed by a group of members of Kashmiri Pandit community, here today.

Among others, Acting Chairman, Legislative Council Mr. R.S.Micky, Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Tara Chand and Minister for R&B, Mr. G.M.Saroori accompanied the Union Minister.

Mr. Azad said that during the long spell of turmoil, the Pandit community was the worst sufferer. He said the Government implemented several plans for their rehabilitation in the State, which include construction of housing colonies at Sheikhpora Budgam and Nagrota Jammu. The Union Minister said that the hospital, after its completion, will create new hopes for the patients, who are forced to move outside the State for advanced treatment. Mr. Azad hoped that the hospital will cater to the needs of local patients, adding that the Center would provide all support to the management in providing better Medicare to the general people.

Throwing light on the healthcare facilities in India, Mr. Azad said that there are 12.50 lac beds available in different hospitals of the country to cater medicare needs of 115 crore population . Of these, 5 lakhs are in Government hospitals and rest in the private sector. He said every effort is being made to encourage the opening of more hospitals in private sector to reduce the pressure on Government hospitals.

The Union Minister said that the health sector is facing shortage of medicos, and the Health Ministry is taking several measures to overcome this problem. He said certain amendments have been made in the norms of Medical Council Act to facilitate opening of medical colleges in rural and far flung areas for the benefit of the general public. He said the doctors who will serve in the far flung and rural areas would be given additional internship marks.

Mr. Azad said the Centre has proposed to open 250 new Nursing Colleges in the Country, to produce 20,000 nurses annually to overcome the dearth of nursing staff in the hospitals. He said two super Specialty hospitals, one each at Jammu and Srinagar, are coming up at a cost of Rs. 100 crore. He said that work on both the hospitals is going on war footing. He said the Centre would provide the funds for constructions and equipment, while the State Government has to provide doctors and other para medical staff.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tara Chand said that the work done by the former Chief Minister, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, would be remembered for a long time to come. He said all round development took place in the State. Adding that opening of 8 new districts and 18 colleges and schools are the historical steps of his Government. Implementation of Roshni Act in the State benefitted lakhs of farmers just on paying Rs. 100 for per Kanal, Mr Tara Chand said and added the mission and the projects left by Azad would be taken forward by the coalition Government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah.

Referring to the upcoming hospital of Vitasta Charitable Trust, the Dy. CM said that on its completion, the hospital would definitely ease the pressure of Government Hospitals, adding that poor people would be the first beneficiaries. He said the Government has made several plans to improve the medicare facilities in the State. He said focused attention is being paid to open new and upgrade existing health institutions in the rural and far flung areas of the State.

Later, Mr. Azad released a book "Vitasta" on the occasion. Vitasta Awards were given to the persons who worked for development of health sector in the State.

Raman Raina is Shehjar's Chief Photo Journalist based in Jammi, India.
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