The Centre, the Tamil Nadu Government(GoTN) and the World Bank have signed a $287-million loan agreement for the Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme (TNHSRP).

TNHSRP aims to improve the quality of healthcare, reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and fill equity gaps in reproductive and child health services in the State, according to an official statement.

Despite impressive gains made by the State pertaining to maternal mortality rate, certain challenges in healthcare remain, including quality of care and variations in reproductive and child health among districts.

Tamil Nadu is also dealing with a growing burden of NCDs as they account for nearly 69 per cent of deaths in the State.

“Tamil Nadu can serve as a model for how to take health system performance to the next level by investing in the public sector and offer lessons to other States. We are happy that the World Bank is helping the state in this journey,” said Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

So, TNHSRP will support the State government on developing clinical protocols and guidelines, achieving national accreditation for primary, secondary, and tertiary-level health facilities in the public sector, strengthen physicians, nurses and paramedics through continuous medical education and strengthening the feedback loop between citizens and the state by making quality and other data accessible to the public.

“Good practices and innovations from Tamil Nadu are being scaled-up while others from around the world are being introduced through the programme to improve management of the State’s public health sector, increase transparency and strengthen accountability,” said Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank.

TNHSRP will promote population-based screening, treatment and follow-up for NCDs, and improve monitoring and evaluation. Patients will be equipped with knowledge and skills to self-manage their conditions.

Lab services and health provider capacity will also be strengthened to address mental health.

Tackling road injuries

To tackle road injuries, it will improve in-hospital care, strengthen protocols, strengthen the 24x7 trauma care services and establish a trauma registry.

Another key aim of this programme is to reduce equity gaps in reproductive and child health.

Special focus will be given to nine priority districts, which constitute the bottom quintile of the RCH (reproductive and child health) indicators in the State and have a relatively large proportion of tribal populations.

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