Rs.35 crore for exclusive women and children hospitals in eight districts

State-wide trauma care facilities, new medical colleges, hospitals for women and children, and two new dental colleges are the major projects announced in the health sector in the State Budget for 2012-13 presented by Finance Minister K.M. Mani in the Assembly here on Monday.

Mr. Mani has allocated a total of Rs.470 crore for the health sector this year. Of this, Rs.65 crore has been set aside for establishing good trauma care facilities in the State and Rs.35 crore for setting up exclusive women and children hospitals in eight districts.

Mr. Mani said the government envisaged a medical college hospital in every district. As part of this plan, a medical college would be started in Wayanad this year. An amount of Rs.2 crore had been set aside for the initial work.

New dental colleges

Two dental colleges would be set up by the government in Thrissur and Alappuzha with an outlay of Rs.5 crore.

The government intended to launch a new medical college with public-private partnership (PPP) at Haripad next year. It would involve participation of non-resident Indians, Mr. Mani said.

The government planned to set up a network of tertiary care trauma management facilities across the State, he said. As part of this, the ‘108' ambulance service with emergency life-support system and trained paramedical staff would be extended to all districts. A sum of Rs.40 crore would be set aside for this purpose.

The 108 ambulance service of the Kerala Emergency Medical Services Project is currently operational only in Thiruvananthapuram.

Along with the ambulance network, trauma care units would be set up in all medical colleges in the State. A sum of Rs.25 crore had been earmarked for this.

Neonatology wings

Neonatology wings would be set up in all paediatrics departments in medical colleges in the State at an allocation of Rs.1 crore. Research and academic activities at Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, would get a fillip with an allocation of Rs.8 crore for setting up multi-disciplinary research labs.

The Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) here would get an allocation of Rs.22 crore for enhancing facilities for early detection and management of cancers in women and children and tobacco-related cancers. The RCC would also get Rs.8 crore to start the third phase of construction of its new block.

Aid package

Mr. Mani announced the setting aside of Rs.25 crore as the State's share towards the special aid package for endosulfan victims, the proposal for which has been placed before the Union government.

The Malabar Cancer Centre at Thalassery gets an allocation of Rs.15 crore for setting up a new laboratory block and purchasing diagnostic equipment.

Other major announcements include new drug testing labs at Konni, Thrissur, and Kozhikode; extension of the fair price Karunya pharmacy network across the State; State-wide expansion of the School Health Programme, new homoeo dispensaries and hospitals, new inpatient ward for District Hospital at Idukki, and setting up of mental health rehabilitation centres in all districts.