New hospitals, more mobile health units and ambulances, tobacco cessation clinics and a programme to ensure that safe street food is made available to the public are some of the important proposals made in the Delhi budget 2013-14 on Wednesday. Overall the Plan outlay for the health sector has been enhanced by 33 per cent from Rs.1,872 crore in 2012-13 to Rs. 2,490 crore in 2013-14.

As per the proposals, Delhiites stand to get seven new hospitals and nine new dispensaries in the next fiscal. The Delhi Government is also looking at bettering effective transportation of patients needing emergency medical care by increasing its fleet of ambulance to 251 by procuring 100 new ambulances in 2013-14.

For imparting healthcare to the underserved sections of the society, six additional mobile units are proposed to be added in North-East District with support from the Central Government. Specialised mobile units will also be provided for outreach programmes under mental , dental and liver health screening. To spread awareness and early detection of lifestyle diseases, it is proposed that ‘tobacco cessation’ clinics would be set up in all districts. Dedicated cells will also be created in every district for imparting awareness on ‘safe food’ among street vendors and public in 2013.

Also to make blood transfusion safer the Delhi Government has proposed the introduction of the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test to screen donated blood for use in blood banks of Government Hospitals. Meanwhile, the Government has also proposed to increase focus on maternal and child health and noted that newborns will be screened against deficiency diseases.

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