Health in Kerala budget has nothing new


By Sradha Meloot

Thiruvananthapuram: Despite the claims of providing the highest out lay of Rs 1,406 crore for the health sector, the Kerala budget presented by Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac has nothing new to add to the sector.

All through the Budget on health sector, the main focus was on Comprehensive Health Security Scheme, which is not at all a new one. It is just a mix of the Ayushman Bharat project of the centre and the existing schemes of the state government. Moreover, the Comprehensive Security Scheme has been talked about in the last so many months.

The Budget says that as many as 150 hospitals were upgraded to Family Health Centres and 200 will follow in the next stages. However, there is no vision for any steps taht has to be taken for conversion of the so called 200 Primary health centres to Family health centres. Despite saying that the state will become a region where primary health services will be implemented in full measures, critics told IFNS that the Budget has not given ample allocation for developing the primary health centres.

Moreover, Thomas Issac mentions about equipping all Medical Colleges with Oncology Departments, District Hospitals with Cardiology Departments and Taluk Hospitals with Trauma Care Centres and Dialysis facilities. All these were there in the last budget and are only ongoing projects, health specialists point out.

However, they point out that new intuitive of the government to rope in private sector in the secondary and tertiary level of health service was a welcome note.
In the budget, an amount of Rs 788 crore has been set apart for Public Health Institutions and Rs 232 crore for Medical Colleges.

The Indian Systems if Medicines was altogether given Rs 48 crore, of which Rs 50 crore has been earmarked for Ayurvedic Medical Education, two crore for starting sports medicine facilities and Rs 7.5 crore for Laboratory Research Centre in connection with Patent Cell.

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