The State Health and Family Welfare Department’s various new proposals announced in the budget for 2013-2014 by the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party Government are likely to be reworked.
Prominent among those likely to scrapped include the grant of funds to three private trusts to construct new hospitals and upgrade existing facilities.
The BJP government in its last budget — that had allotted several crores of rupees to maths and religious institutions — had also allotted Rs 10 crore to Shankar Cancer Hospital in Bangalore, Rs 2 crore to Guru Mahapathiraja Trust in Hubli run by Ophthalmologist M.M. Joshi for constructing a hospital, and Rs 1 crore to Shimoga’s Sreegandha Samsthe for starting a dialysis centre.
Grants may go
Sources in the department said these grants, in all probability, are likely to be cancelled.
“Going by the usual practice, any new government has the discretion to continue or discontinue the schemes announced by the previous government. These organisations had been allotted funds only because of they were in the good books of the BJP,” a senior official said.
“Allocation of grants to these organisations at a time when the government-run health centres are lacking adequate facilities is unnecessary. We hope these funds will be diverted for other better purposes,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the officials are also expecting that the implementation of the new schemes such as strengthening of the drugs control department and the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) that need funds from the Centre will be expedited.
The department has proposed a Rs.149-crore project to strengthen the State Drugs Control Laboratory and Enforcement Wing.
With the Union Government, under its 12th Five-Year Plan planning to allocate Rs. 1,200 crore to improve the drug administration and develop Drugs Control Departments across the country, the State Health Department is planning to spruce up its laboratory for drug testing and strengthen the enforcement wing.
“These two aspects are critical components to ensure high quality and safe drug manufacturing in the country,” another official from the Drugs Control Department said.
This apart, the department is also hopeful that the implementation of the Centre’s National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) will be expedited. Bangalore along with Bhubaneswar have been chosen for a pilot project under the NUHM.
Aimed at addressing the healthcare challenges of the urban poor, this Rs. 22,507-crore project will be implemented in 779 cities and towns that have a population of more than 50,000.
Karnataka has submitted a Rs. 250-crore financial outlay for the project of which 25 per cent will be borne by he State government.
Under this project, urban health centres (UHCs) will be set up in all 198 wards of the city to provide comprehensive primary healthcare and free diagnostic facilities.
The department’s functioning was reviewed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday.
Officials, who made a presentation on the various health schemes apart from the current Infant Mortality and Maternal Mortality rates, also submitted a list of priorities to the Chief Minister, sources added.