GUWAHATI, Oct 28 - Peeved at the condition of hospitals in tea gardens, the State government is planning to take over the facilities and put in place a new health model to narrow down the healthcare gaps.
According to a survey conducted in 2014-15 by the Regional Resource Centre for North Eastern States of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, 649 tea estates (of the total around 850 gardens) had hospitals run by the TE managements, but the status of healthcare in those hospitals was unsatisfactory.
The in-patient department (IPD) was not available in 45 per cent of the tea garden hospitals and functional labour room was not available in 54 per cent of the gardens. Functional newborn care corner was not available in 82 per cent garden hospitals, while 78 per cent garden hospitals did not have laboratory service. Doctors were not available in 38 per cent of the garden hospitals, according to a CAG report.
Tea Tribes Welfare Minister Pallab Lochan Das told The Assam Tribune that the State government was considering taking over the hospitals and run them through the National Health Mission.
�We may form clusters of five/six hospitals which will be under one main hospital. While specialist doctors will be available in the main hospital, the others would be run by rural health practitioners,� he said.
The government has also decided to provide GNM (general nursing and midwifery) training to tea tribes girls who can later be deployed at the TE hospitals. In the first phase, 200 such girls would be given the nursing training.
Simultaneously, the Assam Tea Employees Provident Fund Organisation has also moved a proposal to set up four specialty hospitals in the State, with special focus on maternity services. The 100-bed hospitals will be set up on PPP mode, and the government will have to shell out around Rs 20 crore on each hospital every year, according to preliminary estimates.