Health ministry initiates building surveillance system for labs, digitisation of data for integrated health information platform

Our Bureau, New DelhiMonday, January 2, 2023, 09:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Union ministry of health and family welfare has said that under the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, PM-ABHIM, formerly known as Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana scheme, it has initiated building comprehensive surveillance system with more than 4,000 labs and has processed release of funds to strengthen 20 labs out of the total 33 labs identified for the first year of support (2022-23), so far.

In a status report of the Ministry's operations during the year 2022, it said that it has reported progress so far in land allocation for new NIVs and One health Institute at Dibrugarh, Jabalpur, Jammu, Bangalore and Nagpur (One Health) has been completed. Contracts awarded to CPWD with tenders in process. Apart from building a comprehensive surveillance system with more than 4000 labs it is also working on digitisation of analytics, forecasting & early warning systems through the Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP). It is designed to capture real-time, case-based epidemiological data of more than 33 plus health conditions. Around 37,000 new critical care beds with ICU & oxygen have been set up and health units at 50 International Points of Entry: 32 Airports, 11 Seaports & 7 land crossings have been set up.

PM-ABHIM, with an outlay of about Rs. 64,180 Cr over till FY 2025-26 was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 25, 2021. This is the largest pan-India scheme for strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country. The measures under the scheme focus on developing capacities of health systems and institutions across the continuum of care at all levels viz. primary, secondary and tertiary and on preparing health systems in responding effectively to the current and future pandemics/disasters.

The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission targets to build an IT enabled disease surveillance system by developing a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels, in Metropolitan areas & strengthening health units at the Points of Entry, for effectively detecting, investigating, preventing, and combating Public Health Emergencies and Disease Outbreaks.

Increased investments are also targeted to support research on Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, including biomedical research to generate evidence to inform short-term and medium-term response to Covid-19 like pandemics and to develop core capacity to deliver the One Health Approach to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in animals and humans.

The main interventions under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission’ scheme to be achieved by FY 2025-26 include the Centrally Sponsored Components of support for 17,788 rural health and wellness centres in 10 High Focus States, support for other States/UTs under XV Finance Commission Health Sector Grants and National Health Mission; establishing 11,024 urban health and wellness centres in all the States; 3382 Block Public Health Units in11 High Focus states; support for other States/UTs under XV Finance Commission Health Sector Grants and NHM; setting up of Integrated Public Health Labs in all districts; and establishing Critical Care Hospital Blocks in all districts with population more than 5 lakh.

The Central Sector Components under the Mission include setting up of 12 Central Institutions as training and mentoring sites with 150 bedded Critical Care Hospital Blocks; strengthening of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 5 New Regional NCDCs and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units; expansion of the Integrated Health Information Portal to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs; operationalisation of 17 new Public Health Units and strengthening of 33 existing Public Health Units at Points of Entry, that is at 32 Airports, 11 Seaports and 7 land crossings; setting up of 15 Health Emergency Operation Centres and 2 container based mobile hospitals; and setting up of a national institution for One Health, 4 New National Institutes for Virology, a Regional Research Platform for WHO South East Asia Region and 9 Biosafety Level III laboratories.