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Making Andhra Pradesh a healthy state is the foremost challenge before new TDP-NDA Gov.: Dr Purohit

Our regular contributor and expert on public health, *Dr. Naresh Purohit hopes the newly formed CB Naudu led TDP-NDA Govt. will meet the healthcare challenges in the State pragmatically and squarely

Vishakapatnam/New Delhi: The newly TDP- led NDA government in Andhra Pradesh (AP) , is burdened with numerous challenges in the healthcare sector and making AP a healthy state is the foremost challenge before it said Dr Naresh Purohit, Executive Member , Federation of Hospital Administrators.

Speaking to reporters here on thursday after addressing a seminar on “Opportunities And Challenges in Healthcare Sector Before The Newly Elected Government Of AP” organised by the Vishakapatnam based Indian Institute of Management , noted Epidemiologist Dr Purohit averred that AP will need over 15,000 hospital management professionals in the coming five years.

He pointed that  the significant challenge before the government will be in continuing the Aarogyasri scheme. This programme, which provides free medical treatment to the poor has a number of beneficiaries under this scheme which has reached lakhs, as the procedures covered have expanded to more than three thousand. “Recently, the AP super speciality hospitals healthcare professionals halted services protesting against unpaid dues, potentially amounting to Rs 1,600 crore.”he added.

Principal Investigator for the National Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme ,
Dr Purohit stated that there are an estimated 10,000 private hospitals in the country, barring small and medium clinics and about six per cent of these are located in AP .

“There is a current requirement of 1,500-2,000 hospital managers in government hospitals of this state, but due to non-availability of qualified professionals, they find it difficult to manage,” he said.

He pointed out certain negligence in developing the health sector in the state.
“The centuries-old government hospitals, which lack proper operation theatres, equipment and beds, will likely force the new government to plunge into a debt crisis due to its over-dependence on private hospitals for Aarogyasri services.”he cautioned

“Though the previous government had appointed super speciality doctors, the lack of proper surgical equipment and materials in their respective departments is haunting the healthcare sector.” he observed.

“It is to be noted that the state government also did not enhance the stipends for house surgeons, junior doctors and super speciality PGs since January.”he added

Raising concerns experts emphasised the need to develop 11 government teaching hospitals attached to medical colleges, particularly their super speciality wings.
They highlighted the need for state-of-the-art facilities in major hospitals in Visakhapatnam ,
Tirupati and Vijayawada.

Experts pointed out that while private hospitals have special wards for schemes like Aarogyasri and EHS, government hospitals do not meet these standards.

They urged the government to clear the dues of nearly Rs 2,000 crore and develop a timely payment mechanism where bills are cleared within 21 days. They also suggested annual package adjustments based on inflation and an increase of payments to small and corporate hospitals based on quality as the government is paying an equal amount for every procedure.

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*Dr. Naresh Purohit-MD, DNB, DIH, MHA, MRCP(UK), is an Epidemiologist, Advisor-National Communicable Disease Control Program of Govt. of India, Madhya Pradesh and several state organizations.)  He  is also Principal Investigator for the Association of Studies For Kidney Care.

Dr. Purohit, is also Advisor- National Tobacco Control Programme.

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