Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Saturday said a Medical University would soon be established for effective management of all the six medical colleges of the state.

Speaking on the occasion of the International Nursing Day function at IGMC Shimla, Thakur said about 1,000 vacant posts of nurses would be filled up on priority to strengthen health services in the state.

The CM said the government during the last four months had taken several initiatives in the health sector. The posts of 262 doctors were filled and process was on to fill over 200 more posts of doctors and 2,000 paramedical staff for strengthening the health institutions.

He said that efforts would be made to make HP as the number one state in health indicators in the country.

“The previous state government announced opening of 16 degree colleges in the state by making a provision of Rs 1 lakh for each degree college. Similarly, several health institutions were opened in the state during the fag end of its tenure without making budget provisions and provision of staff,” he alleged.

While expressing concern over the increasing cases of drug abuse, he said it becomes duty of each one of us to work collectively for the making the society drug-free and parents should also keep a check on the activities of their children.

“Increasing influence of western culture on our society, particularly on youth was a biggest challenge. The state government was committed to curb this social menace,” he said, while urging the medial professionals to provide proper counseling to affected youth.

He announced that 13-month salary being given to the nurses would be given as per the new enhanced basic pay and grad pay instead of earlier salary and pay band. He also announced to enhance daily diet allowance of nurses from Rs 6 to Rs 25.