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Govt to Explore New Health Care Initiatives for the Northeast, says Dr Jitendra Singh

The Union Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) will explore new initiatives in the field of health and medical care for the North-Eastern Region (NER). The Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said the feasibility of these initiatives either purely as public enterprise or through public-private participation will soon be worked out.

Dr Jitendra Singh said this during a meeting with a team of medical / health entrepreneurs led by Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals, Ms. Sangita Reddy here yesterday. Ms. Reddy handed over to the Minister a request letter for a possible public-private initiative in health and medical care in the NER.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said many NER States have sought the reinforcement of healthcare and medical facilities. However, there was no final word and it was yet to be decided whether this could be accomplished purely through public exchequer or Public – Private Partnership (PPP) and in case of the latter, a definite module of guidelines needed to be worked out.

Despite nearly half a dozen medical colleges in the region, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Northeast is still faced with a huge shortfall of health resources. With increasing health awareness among all sections of society, the need of the hour is not only quantitative supplementation of the services, but also provision for quality healthcare so that patients from the region do not have to travel to long destinations for treatment, he observed.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said reinforcement of specialized and super-specialized healthcare in the region also held the potential to attract medical tourism from neighbouring countries, thus generating revenue and economic uplift of the region. While seeking to bring the Northeast closer to the mainstream, DoNER Ministry will also try to make the region a part of pan-India state-of-the-art healthcare infrastructure, he added.

Being himself a medical professional, Dr. Jitendra Singh said he will be open to suggestions and offers from various healthcare agencies from both private as well as public sector.