6, March 2010
A Big jump in outlay, but only to carry on previous schemes
A big chunk of it will be channelized to energize the existing schemes, and there are no new ones except free health check–up for Bhagyalakshmi beneficiaries.
Just a reminder on the calamitous 2009: a rash of outbreaks, including the dreaded H1N1, should have woken the government up to the sick sector, but the prescription on hand is anything but that.
The budget for the health sector has gone up from Rs 1,840 crore in 2009–10 to Rs 2,673 crore this year.
To upgrade infrastructure and create access to super–speciality treatment at the taluk level, Rs 100 crore has been earmarked to ramp up 142 taluk hospitals into referral units. A sum of Rs 40 crore has been allotted to implement the recently launched Vajpayee Arogya Shri Yojana (VASY)in the Gulbarga division. To tide over staff crunch, 5,021 paramedical staff will be recruited.
To reduce maternal mortality and encourage institutional delivery, a special assistance of Rs 1,000 is given to those women who get maternity care in private hospital. The only new initiative this year – free medical care for girl child registered under Bhagyalakshmi scheme – lacks clarity.
An AIIMS in Bangalore
The Ayush sector has finally got a lifesaving shot: a sum of Rs 5 crore has been allotted to upgrading government ayurveda hospitals in Bangalore, Mysore and Bellary. Also, the proposed AIIMS–like institution in Bangalore has got a Rs 10–crore boost.
A bulk of the schemes announced in the 2009–10 budget – extending Yashaswini or upgrading district hospitals – took off at the fag end of the current fiscal.