THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Aimed at giving solace to bedridden persons with mental disorders, the government has proposed ‘Kanivu,’ a scheme for providing food, medicine and care for these people in the 2016 budget that was presented in the Assembly on Friday. Presenting the budget in the Assembly, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that an amount of Rs 100 crore had been earmarked for the scheme.
The scheme would be run through Kudumbashree by utilising the services of ASHA workers, who would get an incentive of Rs 1,000 per month, he said. The public health care system that always got top priority in all the previous budgets, has got a boost in the present budget also with the government allocating Rs 1013.11 crore. Out of this an amount of Rs 283.16 crore has been earmarked as state share to the centrally-sponsored health schemes during 2016-17.
Taking into account the additional burden on poor patients with the withdrawal of customs duty on certain life-saving drugs, Chandy said that the government would forgo the state tax revenue on those medicines that were sold through Karunya Pharmacies and Nithi Medical Stores by providing refund.
It was also proposed to extend the Kerala Emergency Medical Services, which provides service to road accident victims and other trauma victims, to all districts. An amount of Rs 12.54 crore had been provided for it, Chandy said.
In the populist budget, an amount of Rs 16 crore had been earmarked for setting up maternity units in taluk-headquartered hospitals where the facility is not available and also to complete works on the maternity units started earlier. It has also been proposed to provide Rs 11 crore for establishing a cath lab at the Kollam District Hospital and Kozhikode General Hospital.
Apart from this, an amount of Rs 3.74 crore has been earmarked for the development of mental health centres and Rs 8.41 crore for mental health programmes. In the budget, an amount of Rs 6.5 crore had been earmarked for the Institute for Cognitive and Communicative Neurosciences/Society for Rehabilitation of Cognitive and Communicative Disorders, Rs 3 crore for newborn screening programme and Rs 18.3 crore for women and children hospitals.