Urban health mission gets cabinet nod

New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) The government Wednesday introduced a scheme to provide healthcare to the urban poor on the lines of its flagship National Rural Health Mission, which is seen as successful in reaching the rural populace.

The National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) would be formed under the over-arching National Health Mission (NHM), officials said.

Under the NUHM, approved by the union cabinet Wednesday, the government plans to set up various facilities at an outlay of Rs.22,507 crore for five years.

These include one urban primary health centre for every 50,000-60,000 people, one urban community health centre for five to six areas in big cities, one auxiliary nursing midwives’ centre for a population of 10,000, and one Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA or community link worker) for 200 to 500 households.

Of the total outlay, the central government’s share will be Rs.16,955 crore.

Centre-state funding share for the scheme will be on 75:25 ratio, except for northeastern states and other special category states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. For these states, the funding pattern will be 90:10.

The scheme will be implemented in 779 cities and towns that have a population of over 50,000. It will cover about 7.75 crore people, said officials.

It will help reduce infant and maternal mortality, and provide universal access to reproductive healthcare and convergence of all health-related interventions.

The cabinet, in its meeting of April 2012, had already approved the continuation of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) till March 31, 2017.

The NRHM, along with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, is seen as among the game changers for the UPA, in elections subsequent to their launch.

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