MLA funds to ramp up rural medical infrastructure

As the State scrambles to ramp up medical infrastructure with COVID-19 cases showing no sign of abating, in a first, the government has allowed purchase of medical equipment for government health facilities, especially in rural areas, under the legislators’ fund given annually.

The State’s Planning Department has, based on the needs of the health facilities in 146 taluks across Karnataka, drawn a list of medical equipments that are required. This ramp up of medical infrastructure is estimated to cost about ₹65.62 crore. In the second wave, there has been a steep rise in cases in rural areas. “A list of medical infrastructure needs was prepared based on the needs of the taluk centres. The district administration can propose and purchase the equipment by taking the legislator’s permission,” Planning Department sources said.

Oxygen beds, oxygen concentrators, ICU beds, ventilators, and CT scanners are among those identified to be purchased through the Karnataka Legislators’ Local Area Development (KLLAD) fund. Of the funds released by the government towards KLLAD funds since 2013-2014, about ₹900 crore has remained unspent.

Among those approved to be purchased include 730 monitors at a cost of ₹7.5 crore, 438 infusion pumps worth ₹1.53 crore, syringe pumps for ₹2.19 crore, 146 blood gas analysers at a cost of ₹3.65 crore, 438 crash carts for ₹1.75 crore, 438 ICU cots for ₹1.09 crore, 146 portable X-ray machines for ₹2.19 crore, 147 ECG machines at ₹1.85 crore, and 876 ventilators costing ₹43.8 crore.

Department sources said the new proposal had received approval of Planning Minister K.C. Narayan Gowda, who has conveyed the decision to the legislators. “The purchases have to be made according to existing norms. Most of the funds were earlier used towards buildings and drainage works. Purchases of medical equipment will augment infrastructure in these taluks,” said an official.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 2:27:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mla-funds-to-ramp-up-rural-medical-infrastructure/article34493489.ece

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