Sundernagar: In the inaugural function of the two-day long 12th Annual Dental Conference being organized by the H.P. Chapter of Indian Dental Association at Sundernagar in Mandi district today, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government was committed to provide basic health infrastructure upto the remotest areas of the State so that people of these far flung areas are provided with basic health care facilities.
Singh said that the Government had laid special emphasis on the development of infrastructure and other medical facilities which had resulted in favourable health indicators. He said that dental health care had been given equal importance by the Government and preventive side of dental care service was being strengthened by aligning the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram with the Oral Health Programme. The dental care services had been expanded in the State and today we had posts of 297 dental doctors, 107 dental mechanics and 106 dental hygienists in 240 dental clinics throughout the State.
Chief Minister said that it was during his tenure that first Dental College was started in the State at Shimla in August, 1994, with intake of 20 students. Today, it was one of the leading institutions of the country with the intake capacity of 60 students with specialization in four subjects. In addition, four private dental colleges were also providing dental care education in the State. The State Government was committed to further expand these services. A decision had been taken to construct a separate campus for the dental college near Ghanahati in Shimla district by spending Rs. 150 crore.
The Chief Minister said that efforts would be made to depute dental doctor’s upto PHC level. He urged the dental doctors to upgrade their professional knowledge as per latest researches being done at International level. He also urged them to voluntarily opt for serving in the remote and hard areas of the State.
Virbhadra Singh announced to enhance the registration fee of the dental doctors from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000. He also launched the website of H.P. Chapter of the Indian Dental Association.
Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur said that a total of Rs. 242 crore had been provided for health sector during this financial year with an increase of 24 percent over previous year, besides, Rs. 158 crore were being spent under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). He said that thousands of posts had been filled up in the Health Department and recently the State Cabinet had given approval for filling up of 35 posts of dental doctors. The services of 64 Dental Doctors had been regularized and their salary had also been increased. He said that the vacant posts of dental doctors, dental mechanics and dental hygienists would be filled up on priority.
Health Minister said that all school going children were being examined once in a year through School Health Camps and this process was being expanded to all children registered in the Aanganwari Centres. The dental care would be included under Health Check-up of students of government schools in the State.
He also released the souvenir of the Association brought out on the occasion. Naresh Kumar Vaidya, President of the Association welcomed the Chief Minister. Excise and Taxation Minister Prakash Chaudhary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anil Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sohan Lal Thakur, Ex Chief Parliamentary Secretary Tek Chand Dogra, Chairman, APMC, Mandi Harinder Sen, Advisor to the Chief Minister T.G. Negi, OSD to the Chief Minister Amit Pal Singh, Principal Dental College Dr. R.P. Luthra, President, H.P. State Branch of Emeritus Dr. N.C. Rao, Director, Dental Health Services Dr. Hem Lata Sood and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.