ADB’s Rs5,000 crore fund for health infrastructure awaits Centre’s approval: Tope
Pune: Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said that the state government has sought ₹5,000 crore from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which is awaiting a final approval from the central government’s finance department.
The fund when approved would be put to use for the development of the pending health infrastructure projects like hospitals, sub-district hospitals and other health infrastructure. Tope assured that over 17,000 posts vacant in the health department would be filled within this month.
Tope was speaking at an event at Symbiosis Lavale institute during the inaugural function of the Symbiosis Women’s Medical College and Symbiosis University Hospital and Research Centre. He said, “The state government has approved the ₹5000 crore loan from Asian Development Bank which would be available at a low interest rate. The proposal is currently with the central government finance department since it is a foreign institute loan.”
The minister said that despite the planning commission’s repeated recommendations to increase expenditure on health infrastructure to at least 5% of the GDP, currently only 0.9% is spent on health.
“Now with Covid-19 everyone has understood the importance of health and expenditure on the same would rise. We are also filling in all the 17,000 vacant posts in the health department within a month.”
The minister said that due to Covid, focus on non-communicable diseases has reduced which would now be brought back. He said, “Lifestyle diseases and other ailments, especially cancer; oral cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer would also be focused on now. We are in talks with Tata institute and one cancer unit which can provide chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer care can be set up in ₹20 crore and so with ₹200 crore saved from the MPJAY funds ten districts in the state would get cancer treatment at government centres wherein government would put in capital investment and Tata institute would provide technical support so that screening and treatment can start at the right time.”