Hike in budget for health but still not good enough | india | Hindustan Times
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Hike in budget for health but still not good enough

THE 42 percent increase in the budget allocation for health department may have pleased the minister Ajay Vishnoi but general perception is that given the enormity of the problem in healthcare sector, the Rs 1104 crore allocation for the department is still grossly inadequate.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 14:23 IST

THE 42 percent increase in the budget allocation for health department may have pleased the minister Ajay Vishnoi but general perception is that given the enormity of the problem in healthcare sector, the Rs 1104 crore allocation for the department is still grossly inadequate.

“Earlier the State was spending 64.42 per cent of its health budget on salaries that has now gone up to 68.25 per cent. Which means that major part of the increased budget would go towards salaries.”, bemoans R K Sharma of Centre for Advocacy, an organisation working on health for women and children.

There is also skepticism about efficacy of the Deendayal Antyodaya Upchaar Yojana that is to cover entire State’s population with a meagre allocation of Rs 19.15 crore.

However, Health Minister Vishnoi is optimistic that prudent utilisation of the increased funds in budget would be his top priority. “ We will provide quality health services to people”, he averred.

“Our aim is to make quality health services accessible to the masses and the increased funds in this budget would help in achieving that goal,’’ Vishnoi told the Hindustan Times today.

The NGOs working in health sector say there is nominal increase on medicines and nutrition although medicine prices have spiralled.

This means that state may be actually giving fewer medicines for the beneficiaries, Sharma pointed out. The department is planning to increase number of mobile hospitals in order to extend the reach of health services to remotest areas.

“We would utilise mobile vans to provide health services in areas where we do not have permanent doctors,’’ Vishnoi pointed out.

He stated that other long-term planning for improvement in health sector through the budget funds would be implemented gradually.

This year’s budgetary allocation for health department has been increased by almost 42 percent from last year. About Rs 45.13 crore has been granted for constructing buildings of 161 Primary health Centres (PHC) and 366 sub-health centres. Similarly, Rs 5.29 crore has been allocated for renovation and improvement of 11 civil hospitals.

The department would fill up about 1200 posts of staff nurse and ANMs in the State. Besides, an additional 1000 posts of ANMs would also be filled up at sub-health centres located in remote areas.

Provisions would be made to facilitate round the clock institutional deliveries in 500 Primary Health Centres (PHC) of the state. Meanwhile, Rs 5 crore has been allocated for opening up a medical college at Sagar.

Our aim is to make quality health services accessible to the masses and the increased funds in this budget would help in achieving that goal.