In run up to the crucial 2019 general election, the Narendra Modi government has allocated medical and health care purse of Rs 100 billion to Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for the maximum 80 Lok Sabha seats.
The state, which has been a laggard in health parameters over the past decades, had sought liberal allocation for 2018-19 under the Centre’s flagship National Health Mission (NHM) programme.
However, since the ‘resource envelope’ of UP is to the tune of Rs 80 billion, the government would be allowed to incur only up to that amount during the current financial year, health minister Sidharth Nath Singh said here.
This also comes in the backdrop of the first anniversary of the death of 30 children at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Gorakhpur last year. The children convalescing in neonatal and critical care wards had died on August 10 and 11, 2017 allegedly over snapping of oxygen supply due to outstanding bills amounting to Rs 6.8 million. This was the first major challenge faced by the incumbent Yogi Adityanath government in its first 6 months in office.
The case had highlighted the chronic state of UP medical and health care infrastructure and corruption. Later, police had booked several persons in the case, including government doctors, private suppliers etc.
During 2017-18, the state government had been allocated only about Rs 33 billion under the NHM’s twin programmes of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). “Owing to our persistence, the Centre has allowed record allocation towards the medical and health care sector. This would help us to execute new projects for providing better healthcare facilities to the people,” he added.
Under the current allocation, 20per cent would be spent on deploying health care professionals on contract, followed by 13per cent and 12per cent on service delivery and community health care programmes respectively.
Meanwhile, the state government is also setting up a chain of drug warehouses in all the 75 districts in the state for ready availability of commonly prescribed generic and other drugs at the government hospitals.
The budget would also be utilised towards setting up of 25 maternity and child health (MCH) wings under public private partnership (PPP). E-hospitals would be developed at 100 district hospitals. The Centre has also approved procurement of 1,544 new ambulances and 18 blood collection and transportation vans to improve medical care response time in UP.
Meanwhile, the Adityanath government has started a month long immunisation drive against Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), both of which are vector borne diseases, affecting 38 districts in eastern and central UP during monsoon.
During April 2018, 3.4 million children were immunised under first phase, while similar campaign has started this month with the CM himself personal interest in the progress.