Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss is delighted with the flagship National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) getting a good increase in the union budget and says "three PCs" are keeping him happy these days.
"Three PCs - my personal computer, planning commission and of course, P Chidambaram (finance minister) - are keeping me happy these days," a delighted Ramadoss told on the sidelines of an award function on Monday night.
According to him, while his computer helps him plan out several measures to better the health sector, the Planning Commission is giving him a patient hearing.
"And Chidambaram gave the country a social budget with a renewed focus on rural health," he said, referring to the proposed allocation for the NRHM scheme.
While presenting the Budget-2007-08 on February 28, Chidambaram had proposed an increase in the allocation for the flagship NRHM from Rs 82.07 billion in 2006-07 to Rs 99.47 billion in 2007-08.
The allocation is over nine per cent more of what the entire national capital of Delhi is set to receive for its 2007-08 annual budget outlay.
Elaborating on his plan to better the health sector, Ramadoss said: "The rural health mission would achieve its desired results within its stipulated time of seven years. I am making villagers and district administration key functionaries of this scheme."
The Indian government launched the NRHM in April 2005 to improve access of rural people, especially women and children, to quality primary healthcare services.
"We have a target of appointing 620,000 accredited social health activists (ASHA), of which 348,920 have been appointed. We are also forming village health communities to oversee the work of the mission at the grassroots," the minister said.