Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has made a total allocation of Rs.252 crore for the health sector in the State Budget for 2011-12.

Stating that he expected Rs.508 crore from the National Rural Health Mission, Dr. Isaac said he was earmarking Rs.18 crore for State- level laboratories and for enhancing diagnostic services in the district and taluk hospitals; Rs.48 crore for upgrading primary health centres and enhancing their services; Rs.52 crore for the five medical colleges, ophthalmology hospitals and the pharmaceutical college; Rs.3.9 crore for the dental colleges, and Rs.6.7 crore for the nursing colleges.

He has set apart Rs.12 crore as special assistance for the Malabar Cancer Centre and Rs.6 crore for expanding the Diabetic Institute to include a geriatric study centre.

A Neo-natalogy ICU would be set up in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. A new mortuary would also be opened there. MRA scanners would be set up in Kozhikode, Kottayam and Thrissur Medical Colleges.

Dr. Isaac announced enhancement of monthly stipend for Residents in Medical Colleges with retrospective effect from January 1, 2011. Junior Residents would get an increased stipend of Rs.23,000 in the first year, Rs.24,000 in the second year and Rs.25,000 in the third year. Senior Residents would have an increased stipend of Rs.28,000, Rs.29,000 and Rs.30,000 respectively for three years. Residents in Dental, Ayurveda and Homoeopathy would also get similar increase. Monthly stipend of students of general nursing and mid-wife course would be enhanced from Rs.300 to Rs.700.

The other proposals include Rs.20 lakh for a new building for the medi-bank in the Alappuzha Medical College Hospital complex, Rs.1 crore for establishing T.V. Thomas Memorial Co-operative Hospital, Alappuzha.

He has allocated Rs.27 crore for Ayurveda and Rs.25 crore for Homoeopathy sectors, with 50 per cent of the allocation meant for their respective Medical Education Departments. Oushadhi would get Rs.4 crore, while Kottakkal Ayurveda Study and Research Centre would get a grant of Rs.2crore.

A sum of Rs.2 crore would be given for the Hunger-free City Project. The Institute for Communicative and Cognitive Neurosciences , Thiruvananthapuram, would get Rs.3 crore and the National Institute for Speech and Hearing would be given Rs.4 crore as special grant.