With the aim to provide basic health care facilities to the tea community in Assam, the National Health Mission (NHM) has come up with the PPP with Tea Garden Hospitals plan under the Health and Family Welfare scheme. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with Tea Garden Hospitals and NHM, Assam under Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the main objective of offering health care services to all the employees of the tea gardens and the areas around them.
Number of hospitals enrolled in the project
The scheme was first launched in the year 2007-08. At that point in time, the number of tea garden hospitals which were brought under the scheme was 50. At present, other tea garden hospitals have also been added to the project and the total has gone up to 150. Out of these, 15 are in Cachar, 12 in Golaghat, 37 in Dibrugarh, 8 in Lakhimpur, 9 in Jorhat, 7 in Nagaon, 1 in Morigaon, 21 in Sonitpur, 16 in Sivasagar, 7 in Udalguri, and 17 in Tinsukia.
Objectives of the PPP with Tea Garden Hospitals project
There are a few areas on which the PPP with Tea Garden Hospitals project is focused at. The areas of focus are as follows:
- Provision of referral services
- Provision of emergency services
- Provision of maternal and child health care
- Dealing with the problems related to communicable diseases
- Dealing with the problems related to non-communicable diseases
- Development of existing infrastructure in the tea garden hospitals
Achievements of the PPP with Tea Garden Hospitals project
There are a number of achievements under this scheme. Some of these achievements can be summed up as follows:
- Providing funds for the salary and incentives of the doctors, paramedics, and other workers in the tea garden hospitals
- Financial assistance for the renovation of the existing hospitals
- Improvement of the service delivery
- Provision of medicine to these tea garden hospitals at no extra cost
- Providing an ambulance for each of these hospitals which serves the referral service purpose
Guidelines for the PPP with Tea Garden Hospitals project
The PPP with Tea Garden Hospitals project has to abide by certain guidelines. These guidelines can be listed as follows:
The tea garden hospitals will be required to send out reports on a monthly basis to show the overall progress in terms of the key deliverables as well as financial progress. The format for the report is prescribed by the National Health Mission, Assam.
The District Health Society and the Tea Garden Hospital Management Society has signed an agreement to give form to this scheme. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two entities, the hospitals will be required to abide by the norms and regulations which have been mentioned in the agreement by the National Health Mission (NHM) of Assam.
Under the PPP scheme, an amount of Rs.7.5 lakh has been allocated to each of the tea garden hospitals in the form of central assistance. As per the agreement, the amount has been allocated in 2 instalments. The 1st instalment is being released along with the signing of the MoU. The 2nd instalment is being credited after the submission of UC and SoE of the 1st instalment.
The tea garden community has been one of the most marginalised and socially excluded groups in Assam. With the inclusion of tea garden hospitals under the PP project of NHM, the Assam Government has initiated the facility of offering better healthcare and medical attention to the workers and non-workers around the tea garden areas and its surrounding regions in Assam. The project also plans to cover more tea garden hospitals in the future.