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₹5 meal scheme for patient attendants starts today

By Special Correspondent

The Health department started its innovative programme to provide ₹5 meals to the attendants of patients admitted at government hospitals on Thursday.

Health Minister Harish Rao formally launched the programme at Osmania General Hospital (OGH). The scheme ensures three meals a day for patient attendants in 18 government hospitals. Over 20,000 meals a day would be provided at government hospitals at an estimated cost of ₹40 crore a year.

The Minister also launched the Orthopaedic Academy and other developmental works at OGH at a cost of ₹36 crore. He inaugurated a 40-bed ICU and three mini operation theatres.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rao said that the government has decided to take up construction of new buildings at OGH while ensuring that the old building, considered as a heritage structure, was protected. A committee had been constituted to examine the possibilities and it had submitted its preliminary findings to the government. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will take a decision on the construction of new buildings once the committee submitted its final report.

He said steps were afoot to construct night shelters across the city and the government had already doubled the diet charges. This was expected to result in an additional expenditure of ₹43 crore to the State government. Sanitation expenses per bed have been raised from ₹5,000 to ₹7,500 resulting in an additional expenditure of ₹338 crore a year.

Construction work for three super-speciality hospitals has started at a cost of ₹2,769 crore and orders would soon be issued to increase the bed strength at NIMS and TIMS to 2,000.

The Minister recalled the series of welfare measures launched by the TRS government, including supply of fine rice to residential hostels and enhancement of Aasara pension from ₹200 to ₹2,000.

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