Doctors and residents have come down heavily on the state budget saying that it was not up to their expectations. They have claimed that at least 6% budget should have been allocated for healthcare in the state.
The dilapidated condition of primary health centers and government hospitals generally forces the residents to go to private hospitals that are costly. However, the residents appreciated government's initiative of opening rehabilitation and drug de-addiction centres, but they also demanded action to stop chain of drug supply.
Of the total budget of Rs 73,593 crore, only Rs 1,222 crore has been allocated for health services.
Dr Arun Mitra, who is a city-based doctor and CPI leader, said, "The budget for health services is less than 2%. This budget does not provide big relief to the poor patients. The government hospitals lack proper infrastructure, and there is a dire need of improvement in the health sector."
"In the developed countries, the budget for health sector is commonly 10%, while it is around 18% in a country like Canada. I appreciate that the government is taking steps to provide some relief to the cancer patients. The government has also announced to open rehabilitation center and drug de-addiction centre, but they should also stop supply of drugs, otherwise the persons after taking treatment could again become addicts," Mitra said.
Shivram Saroay, founder president of NGO Ann Jal Sewa Trust, which provides free meals to needy patients at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, said, "Advanced technologies are missing at majority of government hospitals. Even people can't get facility of CT scan and other required services. Specialist doctors are generally not available in government hospitals. Though the government is constructing new buildings, there is also a need of advanced infrastructure and qualified doctors."
Amarjot Singh, sarpanch of Baddowal village, said, "Even medicines are not available at the government dispensary in our village. Government should also pay attention towards the problem." Village resident Gernail Singh said, "Government should pay attention to update the primary health centres, which are being run in rural areas, so that the patients can get better treatment and the diseases could be diagnosed at early stage to avoid complications. The government should increase budget for health services.
The treatment of every disease should be provided at affordable rates." Civil surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said, "The government is updating the health services, adding that they are going to open new drug de-addiction centre in Samrala, and then in Raikot and Khanna too. A rehabilitation centre will be opened in the city."