Friday, March 5, 2010

Public health sector gets a raw deal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When a liberal Thomas Isaac was generous in providing funds and introducing new schemes for the education and social welfare sectors, the public health sector received a severe beating.

With no major initiatives and no fresh schemes, the state health sector will be solely dependent on the Rs 300 crore which is expected to receive through the National Rural Health Mission (Arogya Keralam).

An outlay of Rs 16 crore is set apart for the construction of 17 hospital buildings and Rs 5 crore for the modernisation of public health laboratories. To set up systems for information gathering on contagious diseases, Rs 3.8 crore has been earmarked.

A public campaign to monitor diabetes and hypertension, which has already been launched on a pilot basis in Thiruvananthapuram, will be extended to other districts. The fund for the said purpose will be met from NRHM and the states share will be only Rs 3 crore. For drug purchase, the Kerala Medical Service Corporation will get Rs 145 crore. The Minister has set apart Rs 21 crore for the needs of five government medical college hospitals, Rs 3.7 crore for dental colleges and Rs 3.3 crore for nursing colleges.

Promises regarding the setting up a Cardio Thoracic surgery unit in Alappuzha Medical College, advanced diagnostic centre in Kozhikode Medical College and a Linear Accelerator at Malabar Cancer Centre have been repeated. For the setting up of the peripheral centre of Regional Cancer Centre at Neendakara Rs 20 lakh has been provided.

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