Health jobs await NGOs

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 28.01.07

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 28: The realisation that taking healthcare to the remotest corner of the state is not the job of bureaucrats in the health department alone has driven the Orissa government to rope in NGOs to give a boost to primary medicare.

The state has already tasted success in its experiment to hand over management of three primary health centres to NGOs. A couple of years ago, the management of three primary health centres (Khankira in Dhenkanal, Ata in Jajpur district and Naikhandi in Bhadrak) had been handed over to NGOs.

Encouraged by the success of the experiment, the government is now set to hand over as many as 60 health centres and 120 sub-centres to the NGOs by the end of March.

The state at present appoints doctors and provides infrastructural support and medicine to every public health centre and sub-centre. But there are places where the government is yet to provide basic health facilities.

In places like KBK (undivided Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi districts), healthcare is well below the satisfactory level. Doctors are reluctant to work in these places for various reasons.

To address these problems the government has been toying with the idea to hand over the health centres and sub-centres to the NGOs, a senior officer in the health department said.

At the initial stage, management of four sub-centres and two primary health centres in every district will be handed over to self-help groups working in the respective areas.

The government will continue to look after staff recruitment and provision of infrastructure while the SHGs will monitor their functioning. The state will spend Rs 6 lakh per annum on every health centre and Rs 1 lakh for a sub-centre.

Applications have been invited from NGOs based in all districts of the state.

Apart from providing better healthcare, the NGOs are also expected to shoulder the additional responsibility of generating awareness on immunisation programmes, family planning and reducing infant mortality rate in the respective areas, said a health official.