Steep fall in funds allotted for healthcare in Telangana Budget

For the 2019-20 financial year, the government has allocated `5,536 crore for healthcare out of a total outlay of `1.82 lakh crore.

HYDERABAD:  The vote-on-account Budget presented by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Friday has cast doubt over the seriousness of Telangana government in improving the quality of healthcare services in the State.

In 2016-17, the allocation for the sector was 4.5 per cent of the total Budget, which increased marginally to 4.8 per cent in 2017-18. However, in 2018-19 the figure fell to 3.9 per cent. Now, for 2019-20, the figure has fallen further to a measly 3 per cent. 

For the 2019-20 financial year, the government has allocated Rs 5,536 crore for healthcare out of a total outlay of Rs 1.82 lakh crore. For 2018-19, the state government had allocated Rs 5,976 crore out of Rs 1.49 lakh crore. 

Dr K Mahesh Kumar of the Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association (HRDA) said, “Telangana government’s Budget has completely ignored the [healthcare] sector and has focused only on populist schemes and freebies.

Basic medicines like Vitamin-A drops are not available in many government hospitals. The State needs to establish 100 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) and 80 Community Healthcare Centres (CHC). Government hospitals need more manpower and infrastructure in them needs to be improved. Also, the PHCs need to be operated round the clock. All this requires money. The budgetary allocation should have been at least 6 per cent.”

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