Tata and the government of Madhya Pradesh have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to improve healthcare in the state.
The MoU was signed between Vijay Singh, vice president of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and a former chief secretary of the state, and the incumbent chief secretary of Madhya Pradesh, S. R. Mohanty, who was acting on behalf of the state government. The move was welcomed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who was present at the signing of the MoU alongside Tulsiram Silawat, the state health minister.“Our top priority is to extend benefits of state-of-the-art medicine to the people,” Nath said. “There is a need to work with a strong monitoring mechanism and innovative thinking for the assured delivery of quality health services.”
The MoU will facilitate the establishment of 115 health and wellness centres across 23 districts designated as “high-priority”, over a four-year period. The Trust will provide administrative and managerial support in this regard. Its collaboration will be extended to establish a further 500 such facilities in the latter. Tata Trusts will also provide support in the areas of maternal healthcare, noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, and maintaining digitised medical records. A technical committee will be involved in the initiative’s implementation.
Tata Trusts has been involved in a broad range of initiatives to improve healthcare in India, ranging from mental health in Maharashtra to a collaboration aiming to end tuberculosis in the country by 2025. Its involvement in Madhya Pradesh could serve to bolster healthcare in the state.
Madhya Pradesh has been credited with bolstering its public health system in recent years. “Madhya Pradesh has made a significant improvement in healthcare delivery through its careful planning and execution of healthcare programmes,” Dr Pallavi Jain Govil, principal secretary in the state government’s Department of Public Health and Family Welfare, commented last year. “We have constantly evolved over the past three years. We are one of the states having [the] least out-of-pocket expenditure in [the] healthcare sector.” Collaborations such as the those with Tata Trusts can go some way to support these efforts.