Officials announce free health care for children in Kashmir

02-Jan-2014 Intellasia | Khabarsouthasia | 8:31 AM Print This Post

A health scheme to be launched in January in Jammu and Kashmir aims to provide free health care facilities to children and benefit thousands of families, state officials say.

“Recently, the central government launched Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakarm (RBSK). The programme will provide free health care facilities to children ages 0 to 18 years old,” state Health minister Shabir Ahmad Khan told Khabar South Asia.

“Earlier, the scheme was approved for a few districts of the state. However, due to Chief minister Omar Abdullah’s efforts, it has now been extended to all the districts. Mobile medical teams will be formed at the block levels, to screen newborn babies for deficiencies or disease.” Khan said free treatment would also be given to children enrolled in classes 1 to 12 in government and government-aided schools.

The services will be launched January 10th, director Health Services Kashmir Saleem ur Rehman told Khabar.

People in the Valley welcome the government’s latest heath initiative.

“Anyone who would know about this free health service for children would undoubtedly appreciate the government officials for this,” Hamida Bano, 38, from north Kashmir’s Uri town, told Khabar.

“If the government takes care of the children’s health right from birth, chances of any later health complications would minimise.”

Srinagar native Ali Mohammed Baktoo, 41, told Khabar, “In Kashmir, we have so much unemployment. When you have a family and you don’t earn too much, these schemes provide a relief for your family. I thank all the people who are behind it.”

According to Ahmad, the new initiative will also provide needed jobs in the state.

“We are planning to engage many doctors and other related staff for this scheme. So, not only will this scheme provide free health services to the children of the state, but it will also provide jobs to the youth who are unemployed,” he stated.

Some health experts in the Valley believe such steps are the need of the hour.

Anwar Qureshi, a senior health specialist in Srinagar, told Khabar, “Last year, more than one hundred children lost their lives due to a lack of equipment and manpower in hospitals. This scheme would help to check the problems or diseases at an early age in the children, hence improving the total healthcare of the state.”


Category: Health

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