Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Free basic medical tests from April 7 in Rajasthan
The Rajasthan government will launch the facility of free basic medical tests for patients here from April 7 2013, chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced.

Addressing a press conference on completion of the fourth year in power for the Congress government under his leadership, Gehlot said the free medicine scheme launched in October 2011 has benefited millions across the state.

"Distributing free medicines paved the way for a revolutionary change in the healthcare and it became one of the flagship programmes of our government. We want to take our priority of common men's welfare a step further by launching the free basic medical test scheme from next April 7," he said.

In the fist phase, the scheme will be launched at the government hospitals and other medical faculties in district headquarters. "Government hospitals in each district and those associated with medical colleges would provide the facility for all the basic medical tests completely free of cost," Gehlot said.

He added that the scheme will be extended to community health centres and primary health centres in small towns and villages in the second phase. The free medicine scheme launched by Gehlot on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary on October 2, 2011, had seen a footfall of 70 million people at the distribution centres in a year.

Senior medial and health department officers said two lakh (200,000) people take advantage of the scheme daily. The patients are being given free essential medicines at 15,355 medicine distribution centres and in all the government hospitals.

Gehlot also announced an increase in the minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and highly skilled workers to Rs166, Rs176, Rs186 and Rs236. Wages have been increased by Rs19 in every category.

He said the amount of pension for war widows will also be doubled. "The state government will also provide cash reward of Rs150,000 to sportspersons, selected authors, artists, musicians and theatre artists who are above the age of 62 years," said Gehlot.

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