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CM seeks Rs 800 cr for tea garden communities

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 27 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today requested Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda for a special package of Rs 800 crore for dealing with the health-related issues of the tea garden community of the State, said an official press release here.

In a letter to Nadda, Gogoi said the special package would help to cover extensively all the health-related requirements of the tea community. �In the present scheme of things vis-a-vis present funding pattern under NHM, Assam, any intense and focused attempt to cover all the tea gardens� health institutions along with provision of basic infrastructure and requisite manpower is not possible. A separate additional package is required to strengthen the series of initiatives taken by the State government to address the multifarious issues that include high levels of maternal mortality and infant mortality rates,� he said.

Gogoi pointed out that the special package would pave the way for rapid improvement in physical infrastructure in tea garden hospitals, upgrading essential equipment and recruitment of doctors, nurses and para medics.

The Chief Minister urged the Union Health Minister to frame a policy for providing Contributory Provident Fund to the contractual employees of NHM, Assam, entailing a sum of Rs 40 crore per year. �There are nearly 19,055 contractual employees in NHM, Assam. These employees have been able to bring about tangible benefits to the health sector of the State. And they deserve the mandatory financial support in the form of Contributory Provident Fund,� he said.

Besides raising the nominal pay of contractual employees, Gogoi also urged Nadda for enhancement of salary of about 2,000 employees with high academic backgrounds comprising specialist doctors and dental surgeons.

�In order to motivate these young vibrant people who are rendering yeoman services to the State in the health sector, it is felt that their salary structure should be enhanced on the lines of the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission,� he added.

Gogoi pleaded for approval of detailed project reports (DPRs) and sanction of funds for establishment of medical colleges at Nagaon, North Lakhimpur and Dhubri.

�In order to address the serious dearth of health professionals, the State government is very keen to start these medical colleges at the earliest. Timely administrative and financial sanction would go a long way towards starting these new medical colleges,� he said.

The Chief Minister requested the Union Health Minister to expedite the much-delayed upgradation work of Guwahati Medical College and Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh. It may be mentioned that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved upgradation of the two government medical colleges under the 3rd phase of Prime Minister�s Swasthya Suraksha Yojana at a cost of Rs 150 crore each.

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