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JAMMU: Minister for Health and Medical Education, Mr Bali Bhagat informed the House that Emergency Hospital at Banihal is fully functional and additional 50-bedded block alongwith staff quarters at an estimated cost of Rs.20.18 crore is under execution at Emergency Hospital Banihal with the facility of treating trauma patients. An amount of Rs.11.68 crore stands released in favour of the executing agency. However DPR amounting to Rs.106.90 lakhs has been submitted to Union Government for sanction.

Responding to a question by Mr. Viqar Rasool, the Minister said that as per the status of the hospital the necessary diagnostic equipments have been provided to the hospital besides blood storage unit is under process while the CT scan has been provided to District Hospital Ramban. With regard to filling up of vacant posts of doctors and para-medics, the Minister said that the vacant posts have been referred to the concerned recruitment agencies while the gaps are filled by engaging doctors/para-medics through NHRM.

On the steps taken to enhance the salary and regularization of NHM/HDF/Contractual/consolidated employees, the Minister elaborated that the State Government has constituted a Four-Member Committee to examine the demands of employees engaged under National Health Mission (NHM) and the report of the Committee has been recommended to the Finance Department for consideration. He said that as per the approval of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare the annual increment is being released in favour of the contractual employees engaged under (NHM).

He further said that regularization of ASHA workers is concerned, as per Union Government guidelines, ASHA is not a temporary/contractual employee but she is a health activist, selected from the concerned village having norm of one ASHA per 1000 population for educating and mobilizing people for utilization of health services and creating awareness on social determinants of health like nutrition, sanitation, etc besides escorting pregnant women to the nearest health institutions. ASHAs are getting assured incentives or Rs.1000/- per month for 8 activities and performance based incentives for other activities under various programmes/schemes under NHM. He said that from time to time the numbers of health programmes/schemes are increasing and subsequently the incentives pertaining to these programmes/schemes also getting added on which increases the monthly incentives of ASHAs.

The Minister further informed that MAC Nowgam has been upgraded to NTPHC and shifted to newly constructed building. He further said that there is no sanctioned health institution at Alinbass, however, NTPHC is functional there. He said that one post of Medical Officer and one post of Casual Worker for each new NTPHC were created in addition to the existing sanctioned strength of Sub-Centre. The post of Medical Officer is referred to J&KJ Public Service Commission.