West Bengal to showcase affordable medicine concept internationally, Institute of public health announced


West Bengal government’s initiative to provide affordable health care through fair price medicine shops and diagnostic centres in government hospitals has been selected for presentation at an international conference in Italy next month.

“Our Fair Price Medicine Shops and Diagnostic Centres in government hospitals continue to receive more and more international attention and acclaim,” WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in her Facebook post. “A research study conducted on this innovative intervention of our government to reduce pocket expenses of patient parties has been selected for presentation in the 11th World Congress of International Health Economics Association to be held at Milan, Italy during July 12-15, 2015,” Banerjee said in her post.

Stating that already 99 Fair Price Medicine Shops have been opened in just four years providing medicines at 48 to 77.2 per cent discount, Banerjee said “More than Rs 440 crore discount has been availed of by 157 lakh patients so far. It has been declared a model for the country.” “Moreover, 58 Fair Price Diagnostic Centres have been set up in just four years offering digital X-ray, dialysis, CT Scan and MRI at very affordable prices,” the Chief Minister said.

The state will soon have an Institute of Public Health with economist Amartya Sen and several experts from Britain and the US on its global advisory group, Chief Minister had announced a few days ago. “An Institute of Public Health is being set up at Kalyani, Nadia. The Institute will develop as a global centre to address key areas of education, research and policy formulations in public health and related subjects,” Banerjee had declared on her Facebook wall.

According to PTI, it has been decided to constitute a Global Advisory Group with eminent persons to make the Institute a world-class centre. They are Prof Amartya Sen, Prof Abhijit Binayak Banerjee of MIT, Prof Sir Michael Marmot, Director, University College of London Institute of Health Equity, Prof Lincoln Chenn, Chairman, China Medical Board in the USA, Prof. Grant Miller, Director, Stanford Centre for International Development, she said.

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