Committee to screen investment proposals for J&K health sector

UT government has constituted a committee to screen proposals received under the ‘Healthcare Investment Policy’ from investors willing to invest in J&K’s health and medical education.

According to officials, the J&K government has received several investment proposals for the healthcare and wellness tourism in the UT.

In this regard, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education department Atal Duloo has constituted a screening committee to scrutinize the proposals.

“The committee shall submit its recommendation to the Administrative Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department for consideration, before the proposals are submitted to the Apex committee for taking a decision,” the order reads.

The health department is envisioning an initial investment up to Rs 2,000 crore in the private sector for building modern healthcare institutions.

The then Jammu and Kashmir State Administrative Council (SAC) on 9 March 2019 had approved the ‘State Health Care Investment Policy-2019’ aimed at promoting private parties and entrepreneurs to set up healthcare infrastructure in J&K.

Jammu and Kashmir has no major and middle level chain of hospitals operating in the rest of the country. Except a few hospitals in the private sector, nearly 97 percent of healthcare needs are met by public health institutes, reveals a latest report on manpower audit in the Health department, underlying importance of the government healthcare system in the UT.

According to officials, the health care investment policy includes a 30 percent subsidy on capital investment to be provided for setting up of multi-specialty and super-specialty hospitals, medical, nursing and paramedical colleges.

Besides, other salient features of the policy include interest subsidy at a rate of 5 percent per annum on term loan subject to a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh per year for a period of five years from the date of operationalisation of the project. It also provides for subsidized power tariff rates as applicable to the industries sector and single-window clearance mechanism for processing the project proposals with final approval to be accorded by Apex Level Project Clearance Committee (ALPCC).

As per a government report, in 2018-19 at least 2.39 crore OPD visits of patients were recorded in J&K and out of them 99.2 percent (2.22 crore patients) were seen only in government hospitals. The private sector accounted for a minuscule 0.8 percent of all OPD visits”, as per the government report.

Besides, 96.6 percent (8.36 lakh) patients who needed admission availed public health facilities while 91.3 percent of all deliveries took place in government hospitals, it added.