The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a financial package of Rs 23,123 crore to improve the health infrastructure in the country to fight the COVID pandemic.
Addressing a press conference after the first meeting of the Union Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the package will be implemented over the next nine months till March 2022.
Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said this is the second phase of the emergency response and health system preparedness package as the central government had earlier given Rs 15,000 crore for setting up COVID-dedicated hospitals and health centers across the country.
Mansukh Mandaviya added, under the new package, the Center will provide Rs 15,000 crore and states Rs 8,000 crore and the plan will be jointly implemented by them in all 736 districts of the country to improve medical infrastructure in primary and district health centres.
2.6 lakh normal & ICU beds will be created
Under this 23,123 crore package around 240,000 general medical beds and 20,000 ICU beds would be created, of which 20 per cent would be specially earmarked for children.
The Health Minister mentioned that under the package, a facility for storing oxygen and medicines would also be created at the district level.
Govt is preparing itself for immediate response
Mansukh Mandaviya said that the objective of the package is to accelerate the preparedness of the health system to focus on infrastructure development, including pediatric care, and for an immediate response for early prevention, detection and management of COVID with measurable outcomes.
Package includes supply of critical medicines & oxygen
The Health Minister said that the package includes works like the supply of critical medicines, oxygen supply and what should be done to prevent the spread of Covid among children in future.
Through this package, the government aims to establish 10,000 liters of storage capacity for oxygen in every district in the next nine months to overcome the shortage of oxygen.
In April last year, the government had announced the first emergency COVID package of Rs 15,000 crore, which was well utilized and showed good results, said Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.