Chennai: Aimed at taking healthcare services to people's doorsteps, a scheme 'Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam' was launched at a village in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu on Thursday by Chief Minister M K Stalin. Rolling out the scheme, Stalin said the initiative was aimed at fulfilling one of his seven assurances, "Healthcare for all" which was also part of the 10-year vision statement for the state and unveiled ahead of the April 6 Assembly polls.
Stalin assumed office as Chief Minister on May 7 following a big win in Assembly polls. The plan would take essential healthcare services to the people's doorsteps and in the first phase, 1264 women health volunteers and 50 physiotherapists and an equal number of nurses would be deployed, he told reporters in Krishnagiri. The scheme, for which Rs 242 crore has been allocated in the first phase, shall soon be extended throughout Tamil Nadu, he said, adding "for sure, the scheme will be extended across the state before the end of this year and beneficiaries will get additional treatment (facilities) in hospitals."
The scheme envisages diagnosis of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, treatment, supply of medicines, offering physiotherapy and palliative care by visiting beneficiaries in their houses, an official release here said. Also, healthcare for people aged 45 and above, those with kidney related ailments and detecting birth defects of newborns and monitoring and categorising beneficiaries by registering them in the "social welfare register" is a key feature of the MTM scheme. Women health volunteers trained by Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women, health workers in an intermediary role, physiotherapists and nurses would take forward the scheme under the aegis of the Health Department.
The first goal of the programme is reaching out to about one crore people, part of approximately 30 lakh beneficiary families, the government said. The National Health Mission Tamil Nadu tweeted, "#MakkalaiThediMaruthuvam is the new flagship scheme from the Govt. of #TamilNadu launched by the Hon'ble CM today bringing healthcare to people's doorsteps! #MTM #UngalSevayilNaangal." The Chief Minister, when asked if people in hilly terrain would get treatment for dialysis and anemia under the scheme, said efforts were on to meet the requirment. "We are trying to do that (dialysis) by using portable equipment. We will provide drugs to treat anemia."
To a question on vacancy in posts of village health nurses, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the Chief Minister has already instructed appointment of approximately 25,000 paramedical workers under the scheme. Stalin visited the houses of two beneficiaries at Samanappalli village in Krishnagiri district's Shoolagiri Panchayat Union, marking the launch of the scheme and he inspected delivery of healthcare services. He gave away packs of medicines to beneficiaries, inspected physiotherapy treatment and flagged off three cars for use by nurses and physiotherapists for implementing the scheme.
The Chief Minister also gave away prosthetic legs to two beneficiaries, equipment for dialysis and handed over the key of an ambulance to authorities for use by people of a hilly region in Krishnagiri district. Also, he launched HBsAg (Hepatitis B Surface Antigen) test services to detect jaundice in pregnant women. From Krishnagiri, Stalin virtually launched the scheme in Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem, Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli and Chennai districts, while Public Works Minister E V Velu inagurated the services in Tiruvannamalai district.
Also, the CM launched a coronavirus vaccination drive for one lakh workers in Krishnagiri district under Corporate Social Responsibilty initiatives of various companies. Ministers for Health and Handloom, Ma Subramanian and R Gandhi respectively, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, and Krishnagiri District collector V Jaya Chandra Bhanu Reddy participated. The previous AIADMK regime had last year launched 'Amma mini clinic scheme" to take healthcare services closer to the people....