Year-ender: A rundown of State Healthcare department’s activities

Chennai: From dengue deaths to AIIMS establishment in Madurai, in 2018, the State Health Department has been through a roller coaster ride. News Today brings out the highlights of the year.


The Centre, on 18 December, consented for setting-up All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in Madurai in about 45 months’ time at the cost of Rs 1,258 crores. The college has been proposed to have 100 MBBS seats and 60 seats for B Sc Nursing.

The 750-bedded hospital will also have 15 – 20 super specialty departments and will cater 1,500 out-patients per day and 1,000 in-patients per month. However, it should be noted that several government hospitals (from primary to tertiary care) in the State lack facilities.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), a medical insurance scheme covering 1,300 ailments and reimburses the expenses up to Rs 5 lakh per family, per year.

In yet another development this year, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami increased the cap of Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. A dove-tail agreement was signed to merge the two schemes. Sources from Tamilnadu Health Systems Project (TNHSP) also said the State’s insurance scheme has been selected by World Bank for listing in its book.


As per the data provided by National Control for Disease Control, the number of swine flu cases reported till 9 December stand at 2,458 and 15 deaths, trailing behind Maharashtra that tops the list. As of 29 November, a total of 3,706 dengue cases have been reported. Experts claim the data to be manipulated. The department was also summoned by the Madras High Court to submit the factual data recently.


The Madras High Court division bench recently stayed the ban on the sale of drugs online until the final order is delivered.

The issue of selling medicines through internet has been creating a huge furore across the country since the past few months with pharmacists strongly objecting the move.


For the fourth consecutive year, Tamilnadu tops the list in organ donation in India. The cadaver transplant programme was launched in 2008 following which in 2010, Tamilnadu was commended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the transplant model.

Transtan was given autonomy to function in 2014 and to make the registration process easier an application and website was launched in 2017.


The Surrogacy (Regulation Bill) that seeks a blanket ban on commercial surrogacy was passed in the Lok Sabha recently.

However, the bill has a provision of conducting altruistic surrogacy.

The bill seeks the formation of a National Surrogacy Board, State Surrogacy Boards and appointment of appropriate authorities for regulation of the practice and process of surrogacy.

Bhavani Prabhakar