Union minister of health and family welfare J P Nadda on Saturday said the Narendra Modi-led government at the Center was committed to improving medical facilities in the country. “The immunization rate in the country has gone up from 62 percent to 90 percent. Sixteen new AIIMS units have come up during PM Modi’s regime. In last four months, 13 lakh poor people have availed the medical facilities under Ayushman Bharat scheme. We used to say good days (achche din) will come. Well, good days have arrived now,” Nadda said after laying foundation stone for upgradation of Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO) at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) here. The project entails an expenditure of Rs 151.67 crore. Nadda said more work would be done in health sector in Bihar in the next five years. The minister said AIIMS-Delhi would be converted into a world-class university. The upgraded RIO at IGIMS will have dedicated eye emergency department with a separate operation theater. There will be five super specialty departments – cornea and refractive, retina and uvea, glaucoma, oculoplasty and squint, pediatric ophthalmology and neuro ophthalmology.
Head of department of RIO Dr Vibhuti P Sinha said at least three lakh patients would be treated annually at the upgraded center against 90,000 patients being treated at present. There will also be a waiting hall where 1000 people can be accommodated. The upgraded RIO will have the capacity of 150 general and 50 private beds. The institute will also act as a center of excellence for research and academics. Dr Sinha said world class equipment would be procured for the center, for which Rs 44.8 crore has been sanctioned by the government. The upgraded RIO is likely to be ready in 28 months. Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, who was also present on the occasion, said average lifespan of a person in state has increased from 65.8 years five years ago to 67.7 years now. “While 142 people died due to kala-azar in 2008, the last three years saw no death due to this disease in the state,” Modi said. He reiterated the commitment of the state government of setting up nursing colleges in all government medical colleges in the state. The IGIMS has also got Rs 20.30 crore under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) for upgradation of its cardiac unit and Rs 6.05 crore for upgrading the existing dialysis unit. – TOI