ANI Photo | Bengal did not adhere to MoU signed for NHM, says Centre after Mamata writes to PM for release of funds

West Bengal has not adhered to provisions of the agreement signed with the Union government for the implementation of the National Health Mission, alleged the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday, amid media reports saying that the central government has withheld release of health-related funds.
On Thursday, West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention to restore the funds under the National Health Mission (NHM). The funds had been withheld after the state government refused to comply with the Branding guideline.
Branding guidelines for Ayushman Bharat -Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) have been issued in May 2018. However, the health ministry today said in West Bengal the colours of the building of such centres and the language of the title used in the State are blue and white.
“The title of AB-HWC is written in regional language as “Susasthya Kendra” along with “Health and Wellness Centre” in English,” the health ministry said in a media release.
As per the provisions of the MoU signed between the Centre and West Bengal for implementation of the National Health Mission, the health ministry media release said that the State shall ensure that the implementation of the programme/activities envisaged under the Mission is as per the set framework.
The Union health ministry further noted that numerous meetings have been held on the issue of compliance with branding guidelines with all the States/UTs
“Several communications have also been sent to West Bengal on this issue,” the health ministry said.
As per the observations during the visit for the assessment of health centres, the health ministry claimed that the State had not complied with the branding requirements in both rural and urban areas.
“The issue of non-compliance of branding guidelines was reiterated in the National Programme Coordination Committee (NPCC) meeting held for consideration of the state of West Bengal’s Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) under NHM held recently on 8th November 2023,” the ministry noted.
As per the health ministry release, West Bengal was the only state that did not send any representative to the 14th Meeting of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare held in Gujarat in May 2022.
In the 15th meeting held in July 2023 in Uttarakhand also, there was no senior level participation.
The state has also not participated in the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, which is a central government programme; it has partly participated in a few activities of the Ayushman Bhav campaign, and it has not held health camps as envisioned under the campaign, the media release by the health ministry noted

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