Aardram, an initiative taken up by the government in a mission mode to restructure and revamp the public health system so that government hospitals are more patient-friendly and efficient, delivering optimum level of care, was launched here on Thursday.
Inaugurating the programme, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government’s primary aim was to reduce the high out-of-pocket expenditure on health in the State by upgrading the facilities and infrastructure in public health facilities, thus reducing the dependence on private health facilities. The government was seriously contemplating measures to standardise treatment procedures and the cost of care, he added.
As part of reducing the household expenditure on health, the government was also moving towards popularising generic medicines, making it available free of cost in hospitals and at much reduced prices in the open market, Mr. Vijayan, said.
Kerala, despite its achievements in the health sector, could not afford to rest on its laurels considering the changing epidemiology in the State and the fact that newer challenges like the increasing morbidity due to lifestyle diseases were emerging.
The accent should be on preventive and promotive aspects of health and the first step would be to bring back the concept of family physician. The Aardram mission would thus focus on revamping the primary health care delivery system so that the primary health centres have a more comprehensive role to play as family health centres, he added.
Presiding over the function, Health Minister K. K. Shylaja said that through Aardram, public sector hospitals would be made more attractive to people by providing patient-friendly services and making the administration processes more efficient and hassle-free.
Alongside primary care, the government was also focussing on strengthening secondary and tertiary health care delivery by improving the facilities and infrastructure in taluk/district hospitals. At least one district hospital in every district would be equipped to provide the best of care, including super speciality services, she added.
The Ministers Kadakampally Surendran, E. Chandrasekharan, and Kadannappally Ramachandran, Deputy Speaker V. Sasi and senior officials of the Health and Medical Education Department were present on the occasion.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajeev Sadanandan welcomed the gathering, while the Principal of the Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Thomas Mathew delivered a vote of thanks.
Aardram Mission objectives
• patient-friendly and quality health care delivery
• Super speciality services in district and taluk hospitals
• Transform primary health centres as family health centres, expanding the scope of services provided
• Provide treatment based on treatment protocols and standard guidelines of care