| Infants at a neo-natal ward of a hospital in Patna City. Picture by Sachin |
The number says it all. In 2005, just 45 patients on an average used to visit outpatient departments of various health centres in a month. The figure has now surged to 8,900.
Health department principal secretary Vyasji said: “Sustained efforts by the department with people-centric approach and sincerity has yielded desired results in the health sector.”
The surge in the number of patients visiting health centres is the outcome of better facilities provided to patients. There has been an increase in the number of beds at government hospitals, new hospitals have been constructed and essential medicines are now readily available in the state-run health hubs.
Additional health secretary R.P. Ojha said: “In the past seven years, apart from constructing primary health centres and upgrading infrastructure, new hospitals have come up at sub-divisional level.”
During 2005-06, the government decided to construct 21 new divisional hospitals and upgrade 14 referral hospitals to sub-divisional hospitals. Of these 35 hospitals, the construction of 23 health hubs are over.
The health department’s biggest credit, perhaps, is to make the state polio-free. In the past 17 months, not a single case of polio was reported from any part of the state
Bihar has the distinction to be the first state to launch a health guarantee scheme, Nayi Pidhi Swasthya Guarantee Yojana, for children up to 14 years.
The health department is now planning to construct more medical colleges to improve the healthcare scenario in the state. Vyasji said: “During the Twelfth Five Year Plan, the health department will set up four new medical colleges.”
He added that the department had issued advertisement for recruitment of 1,600 doctors.