In a first of its kind initiative in the country, Delhi govt has launched a scheme under which all school children upto the age of 14 in the city will be provided free medical treatment and check-ups.
Launching the ‘Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojna’, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said health check-ups and free treatment will be provided to nearly 14 lakh students studying in government-run schools in the first phase of the scheme.
Children studying in schools run by MCD, NDMC and private entities would also be covered under it at a later stage, she said on Saturday.
The scheme was announced by Dikshit while presenting Delhi government’s budget for 2011-12 in March and a corpus fund of Rs 100 crore was set up for its implementation.
“The ambitious scheme will take care of all health- related problems of students upto the age of 14 years,” she said.
Initially, the scheme will be implemented in 100 schools and within one year the remaining 854 government-run schools will be covered by nearly 125 medical teams, each comprising a doctor, nurse and data entry operator.
The students, requiring treatment for diseases such as cancer, heart ailments and other serious diseases, will also be offered treatment under the scheme.
The government would give free spectacles and hearing aids for those who require them besides extending free vaccination programme.
“The future of the country depends very much on the children and to have quality human resource, we must invest on health of our children,” Dikshit said.
The scheme was launched on Saturday on the occasion of 94th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Under the scheme, the government will prepare a comprehensive health profile of all the school children and will keep them in an electronic format.
The medical teams will educate the students about “healthy habits” and ill affects of junk food which is becoming cause of diabetes and blood pressure in students, said an official.
Officials said Delhi has become the first state to provide the right to health to school children after implementation of the Right to Education Act.
Health Minister, A K Walia, speaking on the occasion, said teams doctors from private hospitals are also being deployed to carry out health check-ups of students.
He said that after health check-ups, children who require major treatment will be referred to expert physicians.
Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said his department will work in close coordination with the Health department to ensure effective implementation of the scheme.
He said health data of students will include information on weight, height, vision, hearing capacity, blood group and immunisation.
Walia said that apart from free general check-up, the government will also take care of children suffering from various diseases, besides providing free medicines.