Uttarakhand has invited bids to put its community health centres (CHCs), mostly in remote hilly areas, on the PPP (public-private participation) mode —the country’s first state to make such a move.
The expenditure finance committee (EFC) of the state government, which met here recently, has already given its go-ahead for searching private partners in 16 CHCs.
Additional chief secretary Alok Kumar Jain said that most of these CHCs were in the state’s remote hilly areas, and doctors were not willing to work there. “Since, some of the PPP projects in the health sector have already given good results, we have decided to take a new initiative to put some of our health centres on PPP mode,” he added. Uttarakhand PPP Cell, which was set up in 2008 with the help of experts from the Asian Development Bank, has packaged the CHCs in such a way that doctors would have the option to seek transfer to the plains as well, after working in the hills.
In order to make the PPP investments better, the cell has clubbed all the 16 CHCs in four different packages in such a way that remote hilly areas are linked with the plains. For example, CHCs at Chaukhatia and Lohaghat in hilly districts of Almora and Champawat have been clubbed with Bajpur in the plains. “If a doctor wants to transfer himself or herself after working for some time in Lohaghat, he or she has the option to get transfer to Bajpur in the plains,” said Jain.
All the 16 CHCs would run all the central health schemes and other vaccination campaigns meant for spreading the arrest of epidemics. For this purpose, the government has made it mandatory that at least two government doctors would sit in these centres when they start working under the PPP mode.
Significantly, the government is running a series of health projects on the PPP mode in order to overcome the growing health demand in the state and meet the severe shortage of doctors.