The Rs 360 crore World Bank-funded project under Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) would strengthen healthcare at peripheries and reduce unnecessary referrals in J&K, officials on Sunday said.
"Achieving major augmentation of healthcare facilities amid COVID pandemic is the top most priority for the government and we have been able to achieve the major target so far," said Chief Executive Officer, J&K Economic Reconstruction Agency, Jammu Tawi Flood Reconstruction Project (JTFRP), Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah.
He said that vital healthcare equipment worth Rs 50 million are being procured under the project.
J&K Medical Supplies Corporation (JKMSCL) is functioning as the "project implementation unit" for procurement. Dr Shah said that JKMSCL has been directed to complete the procurement without any delay strictly as per the WB guidelines.
Notably, last year in the wake of COVID pandemic, the Administrative Council under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, gave its nod to implementation of the WB-assisted project.
The WB project for strengthening of healthcare institutions is a part of JTFRP, having seven components aimed at reconstruction and rehabilitation of the damaged infrastructure. One of its components is Contingent Emergency Response meant for providing immediate response during any crisis or emergency in J&K. This component came into effect only during the prevailing situation due to the global COVID pandemic when the National Disaster Management Act was invoked to deal with the humanitarian crisis emerging out of the spread of virus.
Following the request of J&K and Central government the World Bank agreed to finance 50 million USD dollars for the project. Later the JKMSCL was incorporated as Project Implementation Unit (PIU) for implementation of this component.
"With the augmentation of this new project, our health institutions will be able to ensure availability of quality healthcare facilities through advanced equipment, besides better handling of the COVID pandemic," Dr Shah said.
Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dullo said that this component of the project is definitely going to make a remarkable change on the ground.
He said that he is personally monitoring the procurement process and has directed the officials to dispatch the critical care equipment to all the vital district hospitals across J&K.
Dullo said that the project component would be pivotal for strengthening the Critical Health Care Institutions involved in COVID19 management up to District level, especially the Intensive Care Units, laboratories etc.
Meanwhile, Managing Director, JKMSCL, Dr Yashpal Sharma, told Greater Kashmir that the project is under implementation and various equipment are in the process of procurement.
He said that at the Drug Warehouse, Bemina, Srinagar, so far 20 haemodialysis machines, 160 oxygen concentrators, 10 hematology analyzers, 38 high flow nasal oxygen therapy units, 120 ICU beds, 5 mobile x-rays, 150 cardiac monitors, 20 pediatric glucometers/ bilirubinometers, 12 integrated-polar and US coagulation cutting units, 14 blood bank refrigerators and accessories etc. have been procured. "The same would be dispatched to the concerned district hospitals," he said.
"We have issued tenders worth Rs 280 crore so far and further process is on," Dr Sharma said. He said that the equipment worth Rs 50 crore have already been procured and were to be dispatched to the concerned hospitals.