Health Minister Ma. Subramanian held a pre-budget discussion with stakeholders from different parts of the State here on Friday.
The Minister heard opinions from health professionals, private hospital managements, non-governmental organisations, representatives of associations of doctors, health workers and other stakeholders, to be considered while preparing budgetary allocation for the health sector.
Terming the discussion a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at improving the health sector in the State, Mr. Subramanian said suggestions discussed at the meeting gave further insight for the government to draft new schemes and improve existing programmes. “Various schemes were taking shape which will be announced in the budget,” he said.
According to him, ongoing programmes such as Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam, Innuyir Kappom – Nammai Kakkum 48 continue to reap results. Works of over 500 urban health centres were completed and recruitment to fill the staff was under way. The State was also leading in the cadaver organ transplantation programme and government hospitals, too, were performing complex procedures.
He said the government was considering invoking provisions of the Goondas Act against people who dump medical waste in public places. It would also consider establishing infrastructure at main checkposts along Kerala borders, as in Walayar in Coimbatore district, to facilitate screening of vehicles at times of disease outbreaks and also to prevent smuggling of garbage and medical waste into the State.
With regard to the strike seeking revised wages by the conservancy workers employed in government hospitals on contract basis, the Minister said the Health Department was holding discussions with agencies that were employing the workers to resolve their grievances.