‘Emergency COVID19 Response Plan’: J&K seeks Rs 286 cr assistance from centre to strengthen health infrastructure

‘Emergency COVID19 Response Plan’: J&K seeks Rs 286 cr assistance from centre to strengthen health infrastructure
People stand in a queue to get an oxygen cylinder for patients at Srinagar's tertiary care, SMHS hospital on April 28, 2021. [File]Aman Farooq/ GK

Srinagar: J&K has sought assistance of Rs 286 crore from government of India under ‘Emergency COVID19 Response Plan’ (ECRP) for improving the pediatric intensive care across the UT and to strengthen the infrastructure meant to handle any patient surge in future.

Work has already started, J&K government said, with part of funding received from the Center.

Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary), Finance Department, while speaking to Greater Kashmir said that the proposal had been submitted to the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for improving the pediatric intensive care across the UT, in addition to many other components.

“With this funding, we have already started work on pediatric intensive care units across district hospitals, 25 in each. We have also started work on filling in the gaps, wherever these existed in our healthcare delivery system, including oxygen plants and beds,” he said.

He said, J&K will also add to the human resource to cater to this new infrastructure and patients. He said ICU beds were being added and a stockpile of drugs was also being prepared for future.

In addition to these, he said, J&K had already equipped its two DRDO hospitals with manpower and infrastructure, including that for pediatrics to handle COVID19 cases and to help the Health and Medical Education keep the non-COVID19 services functional in other hospitals.

The scheme is meant to improve on fast track the healthcare system preparedness for ‘immediate responsiveness for early prevention, detection and management, with a focus on health infrastructure development including for Pediatric Care’.

Earlier last week, Union Health Ministry had stated that the ECRP was being implemented on fast track and that payments under this had already been released to states and UTs. “To fast track the implementation of the ECRP-II, on 22nd July 2021, Rs 1827 Crores have been released to the States/UTs as 15 percent advance to undertake preparatory activities.

“Further, 35 percent funds are being released today to the States and UTs, thus, making a total of 50 percent release of funds so as to ensure implementation of critical activities at the State/District levels to prepare the public healthcare systems in response to the evolving pandemic,” the GoI said in a statement.

The scheme includes Pediatric units, Pediatric Centers of Excellence, ICU beds, pre-fabricated structures to provide care closer to the community, field Hospitals, Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks, fleet of ambulances, augment the HR support, implement Hospital Management Implementation System, tele-consultation services, strengthen RT-PCR testing in districts and procure Rapid Antigen Test Kits.

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