March 22, 2008

Medical parks will be built across the country: Ramadoss

Medical parks will soon be built across the country for makers of diagnostic equipment to set up plants thereby reducing manufacturing costs and making it easily available, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Saturday.

"Diagnostic equipment will be manufactured at these parks all across the country," Ramadoss said on the sidelines of a CII conference on diabetes and obesity here.

"The first one we are doing at Chennai where equipment manufacturers can set up base so that 75 to 80 per cent of things made should be used in India," Ramadoss said

This will help reduce the cost of diagnostic equipment most of which is presently made abroad, he said.

The manufacturers of these products had also given a commitment to ensure prices stayed low, the Minister said.

Speaking on the increasing cost of healthcare, Ramadoss said the country already had among the lowest cost of pharmaceuticals and medical treatment in the world but would like to see it reduced further.

"Health insurance which will be addressed in a very big way and is expected to take care of the problems associated with individual health spending," he said.

The Health Ministry will also be introducing the National Urban Health Mission in the next four to five months at a cost of Rs 22 crore which would provide health insurance for the urban poor particularly for slum dwellers.

"The advantage of having health insurance for the people living in slums is when they visit a public hospital the money will be received by the public sector. This will further help develop it," Ramadoss said.

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