Union Health Ministry Introduces Unique Titled Comprehensive Medical Care Plan for Haj Pilgrims
Union Health Ministry Introduces  Unique Titled Comprehensive Medical Care Plan for Haj Pilgrims
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The Union Health Ministry has unveiled a detailed document titled "Medical Care Arrangements for Haj Pilgrimage" in collaboration with the Ministry of Minority Affairs. Apurva Chandra, Union Health Secretary, officially released the document today, highlighting its significance for the annual Haj pilgrimage, which is the largest gathering event globally.

During the release event, attended by Mohammed Shahid Alam, Consulate General of India in Jeddah (virtually), representatives from WHO, and other stakeholders, it was emphasized that the responsibility for medical care arrangements falls under the Emergency Medical Relief Division and the International Health Division of the Directorate General of Health Services.

Apurva Chandra underscored the importance of the document, stating, "This lays out the roadmap for health services and how pilgrims can access them." He noted that this year, approximately 120,000 pilgrims from India, including 40,000 elderly above 60 years, undertook the Haj pilgrimage. Given the challenging weather conditions, round-the-clock medical services have been crucial, building on lessons learned from previous years.

Chandra highlighted advancements such as the integration of oral health and dental care services based on previous experiences. He reported nearly 200,000 outpatient department visits and ongoing monitoring through a live portal developed with NIC for real-time data analysis.

"We strive to set a benchmark of excellence for other countries to emulate," Chandra added, emphasizing India's commitment to assisting its citizens globally, as evidenced during recent crises in Ukraine and Kuwait.

LS Changsan, Additional Secretary at MoHFW, stressed the meticulous healthcare planning required for such a large gathering in Saudi Arabia's demanding climate. She praised the collaborative efforts between MoHFW and NIC in establishing a portal for real-time health data access and acknowledged the dedication of medical teams in Mecca and Medina.

Shahid Alam highlighted the document's importance in institutionalizing healthcare arrangements for Indian pilgrims and shared insights into on-field challenges faced during Haj. He lauded the high rating of Indian medical services by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The medical care arrangements include revised screening procedures, health cards for pilgrims, vaccination camps organized by states, Health Desks at embarkation points, deployment of healthcare personnel, and setting up medical infrastructure across chosen sites in Saudi Arabia.

The event was attended by Jitendra Prasad, Additional Director General of Health Services, Shobhit Gupta from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, L Swasticharan from the EMR division, Ankur Yadav from the Ministry of Minority Affairs, and senior officials from MoHFW, highlighting the collaborative effort across various institutions and states.

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