Special Correspondent

Rs.300 crore expected from

the NRHM

Rs.145 crore for Medical Service Corporation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A sum of Rs.166 crore has been allocated for public health in the State budget for 2010-11.

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said the amount included 15 per cent of State share for the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). An approximate amount of Rs.300 crore was expected from the Mission.

He contended there was improvement in common facilities in hospitals during the last four years. But corresponding increase in the strength of doctors and nurses could not be made. He undertook to provide more medical staff gradually based on the overall financial position of the government.

Hospital buildings

He announced the earmarking of Rs.16 crore for the construction of 17 hospital buildings, Rs.5 crore for modernisation of the public health laboratories and Rs.3.8 crore to set up systems for information gathering on contagious diseases.

A public campaign will be launched this year with the help of Primary Health Centres, sub-centres, anganawadi networks and public health workers to monitor diabetes and hypertension. The expense for this would be met from the NRHM. The budget set apart Rs.3 crore as the State's share for the project.

The Minister said Kerala's Health Insurance Scheme, which had attracted national attention, would get over all teething problems and become fully operational in 2010-11. The decision that insurance receipts need not be remitted in the treasuries and the health institutions could utilise them for their development would be a boon to initiatives to strengthen the health sector. Hospital Development Societies were expected to get Rs. 40 crore during the financial year as a result of it. The Cherthala Taluk Hospital alone got over Rs 1 cr this year as insurance assistance.

The budget provided Rs.145 crore to the Medical Service Corporation for the purchase of medicines.