Centre approves Mobile Medical Units for all UP districts
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The Mobile Medical Units (MMU) operating under NRHM in 15 districts will now be functional in all districts of Uttar Pradesh. The scheme, meant to provide medical care to rural areas far off from the nearest health facility, has been approved by the Government of India.
"The Government of India has, in principal, given us permission to run five MMUs in each district of the state. We will be able to implement the facility as soon as the Centre sends final approval and releases the funds for the scheme," said Mukesh Meshram, Mission Director, NRHM, Uttar Pradesh.
The scheme was inaugurated by former Chief Minister Mayawati on her 55th birthday last year. However, after several months of delay, the MMUs finally began running from April-May 2011 in 133 blocks of 15 earmarked districts — Banda, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Gazipur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Mau and Ballia.
The government provided the infrastructure for the scheme while private players, namely Jagran Solution, Community Action Through Motivation Programme (CAMP) and Jain Video on Wheels, were responsible for recruiting doctors and paramedical staff on contract basis and making the units operational.
Though initial payments, amounting to Rs 5 crore, were made to the service providers, the payments for the remaining quarters were stopped by the department after the CBI started inquiry into the NRHM scam in the state. The private firms, after running the scheme till December 2011-January 2012 (in some of the districts), discontinued the services in want of payment. More than Rs 18 crore is yet to be paid to the firms for their services.
"We again proposed running more MMUs in the state as it was essential to take medical care to the rural people. This time they agreed to provide five MMUs for each district," said Meshram, adding that once the sanction comes, the government will have to begin fresh tender procedures for selecting service providers for the MMUs in the entire state.
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