Ranchi, Aug. 8: The long-pending highway ambulance project will finally see the light of day; defunct 101 ambulances will roll out again; capital’s multi-super-speciality hospital, located adjacent to sadar hospital, will open doors — all within three months.
Sounds impossible? Not so, considering the target has been set by none other than the state’s new health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh.
The perfectionist that he is, Singh made it clear at his debut meeting with senior health functionaries on Thursday that he meant business and would like to see all pending projects across the state completed in three months.
“I do not want the Opposition to ask me the same questions that I had once raised as an Opposition leader,” said the Congress leader, who is serving as the health minister for the first time.
Admitting that he did not have any “experience” of handling health portfolio and his knowledge regarding national schemes was limited, Singh said, “I am very particular about my promises. If I am heading this department I should know it thoroughly and it should function well.”
At the marathon meeting that started at 10am and continued till 1.30pm, he patiently went through nearly 130 slides of a PowerPoint presentation prepared to apprise him of various activities of the health department and Jharkhand Rural Health Mission (JRHM).
Taking stock of defunct and pending facilities like the 101 (for city) and 108 (for highways) ambulance services, respectively, he ordered: “Start it within next three months.”
The same diktat was issued for other incomplete health infrastructure.
“Rope in new contractors to complete the projects. Make a list of those contractors that did left the works incomplete so that they can be blacklisted,” Singh suggested.
While discussing about the patients’ load at RIMS in Ranchi, the minister directed principal secretary K. Vidyasagar to start the multi-super speciality hospital next to Ranchi Sadar Hospital at the earliest. “If private parties are not interested in running the hospital, the government will do it. Of the available 500 beds, set aside 200 for sadar hospital and the remaining 300 for RIMS for admitting patients. Start it as an interim arrangement till we find a suitable private company to run the hospital,” he said.
A high committee meeting to be chaired by the chief secretary has been scheduled on August 16 to finalise this arrangement.
Singh, who has also been entrusted with the finance portfolio, informed his department colleagues that 1,700 files pertaining to various proposals of the health department had been rejected since 2009. “It becomes difficult to push for a project when the file gets rejected by the finance department. I would like to personally check every proposal before it is placed before the finance department,” he said.