Doctors’ associations from Telangana highlight a few cons of the health budget presented by the government on Monday. The fraternity is largely happy with the Budget and allocations made for various initiatives, but also pointed out a few misses including neglect of primary healthcare services and no allocation for health profile among other issues.
Dr Mahesh, president of Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association (HRDA) said, “There is already a shortage of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) and Community Healthcare Centres (CHCs) in the State. Primary care should be the first priority of the government, no consideration has been given for construction of new centres at the primary healthcare level.” He also added that the health profile programme has also been shelved. The pilot project was started in Mulugu after finding out higher number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases.
Apart from this, there is major allocation for maintenance of government hospitals. This will witness middle-class and even upper class people approaching the government hospitals because their fear of unhygienic conditions will be addressed through this allocation, he added.
Dr B.N. Rao, president of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Telangana State said, “The allocation of funds for healthcare in the Telangana Budget is a positive step towards improving public health. Construction of new medical and nursing colleges is also a positive sign. However, the lack of qualified teaching staff will impact the education and training. Thus, it is important that the government provide adequate training resources in those institutes. If that does not happen, the graduating doctors will not be up to the mark, which in turn will have an adverse effect on public health. Apart from this, paramedical staff should also be provided quality training.”
Absorbing new medical graduates and giving them employment with good remuneration will be a big step towards ending quackery, added Dr Rao.
The priority of the government is more on tertiary care hospitals, as promised in the previous year. Earlier, the medical fraternity thought that the allocation for health in last year’s budget was itself a big jump and they were not sure about whether there will be an increase or not, but to everybody’s expectations there has been an increase of ₹ 924 crore this year, said Dr. Kiran Madala, HOD, Critical Care, Government Medical College, Nizamabad.