Chennai, Oct 26 (PTI) Tamil Nadu has made great strides in strengthening the public health infrastructure and it is the nation's healthcare capital and the hub of medical tourism, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said here on Monday.
The state was a pioneer in providing top notch healthcare services, building public health infrastructure and nurturing human resources, he said.
In 11 districts, including Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and the Nilgiris, construction work was going on to set up government medical college hospitals following the Centre's approval, he said, unveiling a new hospital of the Fortis Health Care here.
The new institutions would provide 1,650 more graduate medical seats in the public sector, the Chief Minister said.
Presently, according to the government, the state has 5,550 MBBS seats -- 3,600 in the government and 1,950 in private sector colleges -- and with the proposed additions, the total is set to go up to 7,200.
The new colleges are expected to become functional in the next academic year.
Palaniswami pointed to a slew of government healthcare schemes like the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, Amma Maternity Nutrition Kit and financial assistance of Rs 18,000 to pregnant women and said 99.9 per cent institutional deliveries showed the success of these schemes.
Citing several other measures and honours like award to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital here by the Centre and to the state for being a leader in maximum number of organ transplants consecutively for five years, he said, 'Tamil Nadu is India's healthcare capital and hub of the country's medical tourism'.
The state's healthcare infrastructure would be judged only by assessing the kind of amenities available for poor patients, he said.
Last year, Tamil Nadu's Infant Mortality Rate declined one point to 15 per 1,000 live births, he said.
As many as 254 new Primary Healthcare Centres have been set up and 166 PHCs upgraded with more facilities, the chief minister said.
In the past three years, various diagnostic equipment, including CT (computerised tomography) scan, have been provided to state-run hospitals and Cath Lab facilities (catheterisation laboratory with imaging equipment to detect heart related illness) established in 18 government institutions, he noted.
Linear Accelerator devices have been provided to ten government hospitals at a cost of Rs 190 crore for cancer treatment, Palaniswami added. PTI VGN VS RDM RDM