Aizawl: In a press meet held at the Aizawl Press Club on Tuesday, the Mizoram Health Minister, along with health department officials, provided key updates on the state’s healthcare sector, including the enrollment figures for the Mizoram State Health Care Scheme (MSHCS) for the 2023-24 financial year.
According to official reports, the Mizoram State Health Care Scheme successfully enrolled 26,569 citizens during the fiscal year 2023-24. However, the MSHCS currently carries a debt of Rs 63.88 crore.
One significant development highlighted during the press meet was the collaboration between Mizoram and the World Bank on the “Mizoram Health System Strengthening Project,” with a budget of $40 million. The Health Minister emphasised that the successful execution of this project could transform the healthcare landscape in Mizoram, making it more robust and efficient.
In addition to this project, the Health Minister discussed ongoing infrastructure initiatives. The state is actively involved in the construction of an AYUSH Development Centre worth Rs 2.64 crore, focusing on traditional medicine and alternative therapies, and a State Resource Centre for HIV/AIDS with a budget of Rs 4 crore. The Health Minister also reported that in 2017, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) stood at 15, but by 2020, it had reduced significantly to 3, making Mizoram the state with the lowest infant mortality rate in the country.
Earlier this year, Chief Minister Zoramthanga had said that the implementation of a state healthcare scheme would be one of the government’s top priorities under the state’s flagship programme Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP).
He informed the state assembly that his government has so far allocated about Rs.150 crore under SEDP for the implementation of the healthcare scheme during five financial years from 2019.
Replying to a question from opposition Congress leader Zodintluanga Ralte, Zoramthanga, who also holds the planning and programme implementation portfolio, said that under the flagship programme, the government allocated Rs. 10 crore in 2020-21, Rs. 10 crore in 2021-22 and Rs. 20 crore in 2022-23 fiscals for the implementation of Mizoram State Health Care Scheme (MSHCS).
Rs. 50 each was also allocated under SEDP in the fiscal 2019-20 and the new financial year 2023-24 for the implementation of the healthcare scheme, he said.
Zoramthanga also said that the government has also sought a Rs 1,000 crore loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the implementation of a healthcare scheme.
The proposal for a loan has been approved by the Centre, which would repay Rs 720 crore out of the total amount, while the state government would pay the remaining Rs 280 crore, he said.
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The MSHCS was launched by the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by Zoramthanga in October 2019.
Under this scheme, the government provides health cover of up to Rs 2 lakh each to beneficiaries in a year.
The Zoramthanga government has come under severe attack from opposition parties due to its failure to release medical bills to beneficiaries for more than a year.
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