An amount of Rs. 7005.02 crore has been earmarked for health sector in the budget, an increase of over Rs. 493 crore as compared to last year’s Rs. 6,511 crore. The allocation includes Rs. 757.5 crore for the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.

In the budget tabled in the Assembly, funds have been allocated to upgrade facilities in three medical college hospitals and the Institute of Child Health in the coming fiscal.

The Thanjavur and Tirunelveli medical college hospitals will be upgraded into super-specialty hospitals with modern trauma care centres at a cost of Rs. 300 croreThe Government Stanley Hospital has been allotted Rs. 75 crore to build a specialty tower block. The Institute of Child Health in Egmore, to which the children’s hospital is attached, has been allotted Rs. 14 crore for purchase of modern equipment. The hospital has received around Rs. 91 crore from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) for building a new outpatient facility.

The government has also proposed to upgrade 15 district headquarters hospitals to the standards of medical college hospitals by adding around 351 posts of doctor and 918 posts for other healthcare workers for this purpose.

The Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association president, K. Senthil, said: “The recurring expenses for super-specialty departments can be more than Rs. 30 crore. The government’s health insurance scheme will help to maintain these facilities to some extent,” he said.

Under the National Rural Health Mission, efforts are on to improve infrastructure and facilities in secondary and primary health centres (PHCs) at a cost of Rs. 78 crore. A total of 118 new primary health centres (PHCs) at a cost of Rs. 100.44 crore will be established and 64 PHCs will be upgraded as 30-bed hospitals at an estimated Rs. 76.13 crore.

A total of Rs. 105.32 crore has been allotted for setting up PHCs in the urban areas and strengthening the existing health centres. While Chennai will get 20 new urban PHCs in addition to the existing 100 centres, the other nine corporations and municipalities will add 37 PHCs.