On August 5, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin launched 'Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam' in Samanapalli village of Krishnagiri. 'Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam' is the state government's programme to deliver essential healthcare services at people's doorsteps. It is aimed at eliminating the need for patients to visit hospitals to treat non-communicable diseases.
The scheme will screen people above 45 years of age and other infirmities through routine door-to-door check-ups. This is intended to diagnose and treat non-communicable diseases that cause sudden deaths and impact the quality of life.
Vision Of Scheme
In the presence of Health Minister Ma. Subramanian, Stalin declared that this scheme is a pioneer in India and is part of his government's 7-point vision to ensure enhanced quality of life for all. "Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam will ring in an era of healthcare delivery, where people need not come to the hospitals but have access to medicine and screening at their doorstep," The Hindu, quoted him as saying.
In the first phase, the scheme will deploy 1,264 women health workers, 50 physiotherapists, and 50 nurses overall. It will cover 1172 health sub-centres, 189 primary health centres and 50 community health centres in 50 universal health coverage blocks. An amount of ₹ 242 crore has been allocated for this scheme, which is expected to benefit 1 crore people from 30 lakh families. The scheme is open for seven districts: Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Thanjavur, Tiruchi, and Tirunelveli.
By the end of 2021, the state government plans to extend the programme across the whole state after introducing 25,000 additional healthcare volunteers and nurses.
Benefits Of Scheme
The Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Department released an order stating that the scheme would focus on community-based interventions to improve compliance and disease control in the state. An essential feature of the scheme is that every beneficiary listed under this scheme will also be brought under the Population Health Registry (PHR). The PHR will thus become the common denominator and make sure that the patients receive constant monitoring and follow-up.
The scheme also pressed into service a 108 ambulance for exclusive emergency response in remote areas like Bettamugilalam and its surrounding villages in Thally.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are largely undiagnosed in the villages. These problems are expected to be solved through this scheme. Those in need of physiotherapy will also receive care. Also, this scheme will detect congenital disabilities in children and kidney ailments, following it up with treatment at the hospital. Eventually, those in need will also receive dialysis through portable dialysis machines.
Significance Post Covid
According to the order, the coronavirus pandemic institutional-based care delivery access to drugs, dialysis facilities, senior care services, palliative care, etc., was compromised during the lockdown, which resulted in increased infection and death rates. This has highlighted that there is a need to strengthen the responsiveness of the state's health system by providing holistic home-based healthcare addressing the health needs of all household members. Thus, Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam was launched to offer a comprehensive set of such services and ensure continuity of care and sustainability of all services.