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480 health-care facilities to be set up
New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS)
Published on 5 Feb. 2010 11:54 PM IST
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To provide healthcare to millions of rail passengers and people living in areas adjacent to railway tracks, the health ministry Friday joined hands with the railway ministry to open more than 480 facilities, including tertiary care units, on unused railway lands. “This is a historic decision by both health and railway ministries to provide healthcare to masses,” Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here. “This initiative will benefit railway passengers, railway employees and the common people living in and around railway lines,” said Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee. She said the decision was taken after a month-long discussion with the health authorities, and urged both the ministries to speed up and provide quality healthcare to people living in grass roots. Both ministries have identified plots to open 351 diagnostic centres, 88 second-level medical units with over 100-bed hospitals and 41 multi-specialty medical facilities around railway tracks. Azad said the health ministry will start working on the diagnostic centres first at major railway stations and junctions across the country. “We are expecting to spend up to Rs.10 million for setting up diagnostic centres,” Health Secretary Sujatha Rao told IANS after signing the agreement with Railway Board Chairman S.S. Khurana.

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