BASIC HEALTH services across the State will change for the better with government giving a green signal to use of untied funds under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) by the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and the Community Health Centres (CHCs).
A provision of Rs 25,000 per PHC and Rs 50,000 per CHC per year has been made under this wherein the untied funds would be used by the health centres as per their requirement. Authorities hope the decision would go a long way in delivery of healthcare at the basic level across the State, trying its best to wriggle out of the BIMARU tag.
That means, the health personnel at the PHCs and the CHCs can now make provisions at their own level for the facilities and equipments required and not depend on the lengthy and time consuming process of getting proposals approved by the higher authorities either at the divisional or the state level.
As per the directives issued in December, the funds may be used for minor modifications in the institutions like purchasing and putting up curtains for ensuring privacy, particularly for the female patients or for making arrangements for fans, benches, almirahs etc.
The funds may also be used for ad hoc payments for cleaning up of PHCs and CHCs, particularly of the labour rooms, wards and toilets etc, health officials said here.
The PHC or the CHC official can also utilise the money for transport of emergency cases to the appropriate referral centres. However, the funds are not to be used for any salaries, vehicle purchase and recurring expenditures.
Confirming that Indore district has recently received the amount called ‘flexi fund’, District Programme Manager for Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Dr Monika Mandloi said, “We have recently received the amount for the 26 PHCs and equal number of CHCs in the district.”
“As per the guidelines, an amount of Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively would be deposited in the account of the concerned PHCs and the CHCs,” Dr Mandloi said adding, “these funds have to be utilised before March 31, 2007.”
Even though a freedom is given to utilise funds, the officials concerned would have to follow the regular protocol for the expenditure. Marking the priority areas for utilisation, the PHCs and the CHCs can make purchases or payments up to Rs 500 on the spot; for purchases or facilities costing upwards of Rs 501 and up to Rs 25,000, three quotations would have to be called while for any expenditure above Rs 25000, the regular tender process would have to be followed.
The health department has been keen on improving the conditions of the basic health care delivery units across the states particularly in rural areas. On one hand, the authorities are happy about the provision of funds while on the other hand, they are apprehensive lest the funds be misused or misappropriated.