The Delhi government’s decision to allocate Rs.7,485 crore for the healthcare sector in its 2019-20 budget is expected to expedite the construction of new hospitals and re-modelling of existing ones.
According to the state budget presented by Deputy CM Manish Sisodia last month, an amount of Rs.3,737 crore is earmarked for implementation of various schemes, programmes and projects in the health sector. The proposed outlay is 45 per cent higher than the revised estimate of Rs.2,576 crore in 2018-19.
The state drugs control department has been adopting a zero-tolerance approach towards pharmaceutical drug abuse and taking stringent action against defaulters. “The department has cancelled or suspended 386 drug licences of manufacturing units and sales premises till December 2018, who were found violating norms,” the minister stated.
The state government has won acclaim for its highly successful healthcare programmes such as Aam Aadmi Mohalla clinics and online OPD registrations. A health card programme is also under consideration by incorporating universal insurance scheme into it and linking it up with an advanced Hospital Management Information System.
The government noted that 189 Mohalla clinics have been set up and 333 more such clinics will be ready by the end of June 2019. “Our target is to set up 1,000 Mohalla clinics. Similarly, 25 polyclinics are in operation and 94 more dispensaries are being re-modelled to start polyclinics to provide specialised healthcare to citizens. An outlay of Rs.375 crore is proposed for Mohalla clinics and polyclinics in the current budget,” Sisodoa added.
The government is also planning to enhance the total bed strength from 10,000 beds to 20,000 in hospitals. The work on construction of a 600-bed hospital at Ambedkar Nagar and an 800-bed hospital at Burari, will be completed shortly. The construction of a 1,241-bed hospital at Dwarka is at an advance stage.
Last week, the state government was pulled up by the Delhi High Court over its failure to have a separate account in public sector hospitals to receive donations from charitable entities and companies under corporate social responsibility (CSR). A notice was issued to the Delhi health department seeking their response on the issue which the court has taken up as a PIL on its own.
The court initiated the PIL after receiving a letter from an NGO, Heart Care Foundation of India, which claimed that neither the Centre nor the Delhi government had followed the various suggestions, including having a separate CSR account, given by the High Court in a 2014 judgment.
In its 2014 judgment, the court had suggested that all government hospitals, run by the Centre and the state, could have a separate CSR or charitable entity account wherein donations can be received. The donations could be subject to an audit.
Reference: The Pharmabiz