NE to get India's first Air Dispensary
The North East region of the country will get India's first Air Dispensary, said Jitendra Singh, Minister of Development of North East Region (DoNER).
The government has contributed Rs 25 crore as an initial funding for the air dispensary, which will be based in a helicopter.
“For quite a few months, the DoNER Ministry had been exploring the idea of introducing a helicopter-based Dispensary/ OPD service in such far-flung and remote areas where no doctor or medical facility is available and the patients in need also do not have access to any medical care,” said Singh after a meeting with the representatives of the aviation sector and helicopter services.
The meeting was held on Sunday. According to Singh, the proposal, put forward by the Ministry of DoNER, has been accepted and is in the final stages of processing in the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The government aims to start the project by the beginning of 2018.
Nearly a third of India’s population does not have access to proper hospital bed care, as a result of which poor patients living in remote areas remain deprived of crucial medical care.
“The experiment being introduced in the North East, at the behest of the Ministry of Northeast/DoNER, can also be emulated in other hill states having difficult topography like Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh,” said Singh.
The minister said that as per the envisaged plans, thehelicopters would be based at two locations – Imphal in Manipur and Shillong in Meghalaya – to begin with.
“Both these cities have premier postgraduate medical institutes from where specialist doctors, along with the necessary equipment and paramedical staff, would be able to move into the helicopter and hold a dispensary/OPD in different locations
across the eight States of the region,” said Singh.
Proposal in pipeline for introducing India's first-ever helicopter based "Air Dispensary" in Northeast