NEW DELHI: As many as 5,000 additional post- graduate (PG) seats have been created in medical institutions in the country and the budget allocation for the health sector in the coming fiscal has been increased by 28 per cent, Lok Sabha was informed today.
Health Minister J P Nadda said the government has taken a number of steps to improve the health sector in the country including creation of 5,000 additional PG seats in medical institutions.
"There has been 27.7 per cent more allocation to the health sector in the 2017-18 budget. We are also planning to allocate 2.5 per cent of the GDP to the health sector in phase-wise," he said during Question Hour.
However, many state governments have returned the funds earmarked for the health sector as they have not been able to spend them, he said.
The Minister said the Centre has been offering help to the states to improve infrastructure and institutions in the health sector besides providing financial support, but the states have to spend the funds properly and submit the utilisation certificates.
The state governments have to take initiatives for appointing enough doctors in the rural areas for which the central government will provide the financial support.
Responding to another question, the Minister said there was no specific norm for performing surgeries. However, in emergency cases, such surgeries are performed immediately on priority in central government hospitals and institutions.
Nadda said the number of patients visiting central government hospitals and institutions, including the AIIMS here, for surgery and treatment was much larger compared to their handling capacity in terms of number of beds, manpower and other resources.
"Despite availability of huge infrastructure and other services in these hospitals, there is a waiting period for certain procedures due to the ever-increasing pressure on infrastructure and available manpower in these hospitals which varies from department to department in these hospitals," he said.