THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Giving importance to public health movement, the state government in the Budget has allocated Rs 1,685.70 crore for public health services. In the Budget, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said Kerala will become the first state in the country to ensure Universal Health Security. “All the people in the state will be brought under some health insurance scheme,” Isaac said. “All the beneficiaries presently under the Centre’s Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) will be included in the new national scheme even if the state government has to remit insurance premium,” he said.
“Everyone will also be encouraged to enroll in the scheme by remitting the entire premium on their own. It is to be seen how to incorporate Service Pension Scheme with this,” he said.“Thus, Kerala will become the first state which ensures Universal Health Security,” he said.The resource mobilisation for the Comprehensive Health Care Scheme will be through Kerala Lottery, he said.
Aimed at enhancing the facilities at all healthcare institutions, Rs 69 crore has been earmarked for establishing Cath Labs, ICU, dialysis units, blood banks, dental units, emergency care centres, super speciality facilities and maternity units in important hospitals. An amount of Rs 17 crore has been set aside for mental healthcare, Rs 23 crore for converting Primary Health Centres into Family Care Hospitals and `15 crore for converting hospitals into patient-friendly hospitals.
Oncology departments will be started in all medical colleges. The Malabar Cancer Centre will be upgraded to the standard of Regional Cancer Centre and a new cancer centre of similar standard will be started in Kochi. Cardiology departments in all District General hospitals, emergency medicine departments in all district hospitals and trauma care centres in taluk hospitals will also be set up. Isaac said steps will be taken to coordinate palliative care activities via Primary Health Centres and to utilise palliative network in each panchayat. The Budget also proposed starting a statewide ambulance service e-network similar to ride-hailing app Uber.
A207 cr for 11 medical colleges, D34 crore for five dental colleges and D7 crore for 6 nursing colleges A15 cr
for new medical colleges. D42.45 crore for establishing Mother and Child Units, Oncology Centres, Bio Medical Wings, Molecular Diag-nostic facility and Stroke Centre A79 cr
for Regional Cancer Centre. D38 crore for Malabar Cancer Centre A15 cr
for establishing a new Virology Institute as ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Life Science Park A43 cr
for Ayush. D46 crore for Ayurveda education