Kolkata: With a view to provide free health care benefits to the poor living in the urban areas, the Central government is mulling over launching National Urban Health Mission, on the lines of the ongoing ambitious project- National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Minister of State for Health and Family Planning, Sudeep Bandhopadhya informed on Wednesday that considering the achievements of National Rural Mission in the health care sector, the government is planning to bring a similar scheme in urban areas as well.

He was speaking at the 6th Healthcare East Programme, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“Government is preparing a National Urban Health Mission draft, which is likely to be tabled in the winter Session of Parliament. However, the draft is still in the preliminary stage and will operate on the pattern similar to health scheme functional in rural areas,” he said.

Addressing the conference, the health minister said that for improving health facilities in West Bengal, extra efforts will be made to equip major hospitals of the city with latest equipments during the 12th Five Year Plan.

It is noteworthy that the Centre has allocated a fund of Rs 4229.84 crore for National Rural Health Mission in West Bengal. There are plans to start Mobile Medical Units in rural areas.