Hyderabad: Provisions for healthcare expenditure in the Union Budget 2018 have evoked mixed response from public health experts and senior doctors in Hyderabad. While the proposal for universal health coverage under Ayushman Bharat scheme was welcomed by all, lack of fund allocation for AIIMS for Telangana has disappointed many.
Officials from Health Department pointed out that there is a sense of disappointment as the Centre has continued to ignore multiple pleas of the State government for allocation of funds to set-up AIIMS in the State.
For the past four years, authorities here have been lobbying with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for AIIMS. In fact, last month, Health Minister Dr C Laxma Reddy visited New Delhi and met Union Health Minister JP Nadda and requested him for exclusive funds for AIIMS.
While proposal for AIIMS did not get any mention in the Union Budget, there were several other proposals in the sector that could benefit patients in the State.
Universal health scheme for 10 crore Indian households with a coverage of Rs 5 lakh, new medical colleges and wellness centres are some of the positives in the sector.
“Proposal to upgrade district hospitals into medical colleges is a welcome move. However, there was a need to allocate more funds to develop wellness centres. The ministry has ignored AIIMS proposal, which is injustice to Telangana,” says president, IMA, Telangana, Dr Narasinga Reddy.
Doctors welcomed Ayushman Bharat programme under National Protection Scheme and pointed out that it was a big step towards providing healthcare to all. “It has the potential for being a gamechanger and a coverage of Rs 5 lakh for a family is a huge jump over existing Arogyasri,” felt MD, Aster Prime Hospitals, Dr Raghu.