The Delhi government on Saturday said the work has begun on upgrading 15 existing hospitals in the city while four new facilities are also being planned to bolster the healthcare infrastructure in the capital that has gone through multiple waves of the coronavirus pandemic.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday presented a Rs 75,800-cr budget in the Assembly for the financial year 2022-23, and later tweeted that Rs 9,769 crore allocated to the health sector. The allocation is 13 per cent of the total budget.
The outlay for year 2022-23 in the health sector is less compared to the allocation (Rs 9,934 crore) in the last budget.
In his budget speech, he also said 20 Aam Aadmi School Clinics are currently functional, whose staff also includes a psychologist, who conducts a mental health review of the children every six months to ensure their healthy growth, physically and mentally.
The deputy chief minister asserted that education and healthcare sectors have been accorded top priority by the Kejriwal government in the last seven years, and steps taken in these sectors are part of its governance model.
“About 4.6 per cent of the country’s population are turning into ‘new poor’ because of expenditure on healthcare, and about 72 per cent of these get impacted due to expenses on primary healthcare. That is where the Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic plays a critical role, and by treating them at the lower level helps them not go slip into that category (‘new poor’),” he said.
And, the Mohalla Clinics model is being adopted in various other states, and in Delhi 5.49 crore people have been treated at mohalla clinics, the deputy chief minister, who also holds the finance portfolio, said.
As of now, 520 Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics, 29 Polyclinics and 38 Multi Speciality/Super Speciality Hospitals are bring run, and 94 polyclinics are being established by upgrading existing dispensaries. The number of Mohalla Clinics will also become 1,000, he said.
An amount of Rs 475 crore has been set aside for mohalla clinics and polyclinics in the 2022-23 budget.
On upgrading heathcare infrastructure, he said, hospitals at Burari and Ambedkar Nagar are already running and would soon run with greater bed capacity, while the 1,241-bed Indira Gandhi Hospital at Dwarka would run full-fledged next year, the deputy chief minister said.
Work has begun on upgrading 15 existing hospitals in the city while four new facilities are also being planned to bolster the heathcare infrastructure in the national capital, he said, adding, an outlay of Rs 1,900 crore has been proposed to upgrade hospitals.
Once the new hospitals are built and the remodelling work of the existing ones is completed, the capacity will be increased by 16,000 beds, he added.
He also acknowledged the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on economy, and quoted a recent research to tell that boosting healthcare after the pandemic is now being seen as a way to bolster economy.
In his address, Sisodia asserted that the budget of Rs 75,800 crore for the year 2022-23 was about two and half times the expenditure of Rs 30,940 crore in the year 2014-15.
For the Health Integrated Management System (HIMS) and e-health cards, which are expected to be rolled out early next year, an outlay of Rs 160 crore has been set side, Sisodia said.
“I propose a budgetary provision of Rs 9,769 crore for the health sector for the financial year 2022-23. This includes a revenue budget of Rs 7,522 crore and a capital budget of Rs 2,247 crore. An amount of Rs 5,567 crore has been earmarked for the implementation of various schemes, programmes and projects in the health sector,” he was quoted as saying in the budget speech text.
Under the Delhi Arogya Kosh, free treatment, surgery, radiology, diagnostic services are being provided to those patients through identified private hospitals, if their treatment is not possible in Delhi government hospitals due to any reason. An outlay of Rs 50 crore is proposed for this scheme in next year, the minister said.
Also, Aam Aadmi Yogashala, a scheme under which free-of-cost yoga instruction is provided, will continue for the next year as well. For this, a separate provision of Rs 15 crore has been made in the budget, he added.
The budget size for the next financial year is 9.86 per cent higher than the previous year’s Rs 69,000 crore, Sisodia said, adding that Delhi’s economy is recovering gradually from the impact of COVID-19.
Presenting the budget for the eighth consecutive year, Sisodia said the city government will spend Rs 4,500 crore in the next five years to generate 20 lakh jobs and Rs 800 crore will be set aside in the 2022-23 budget for the purpose.
In the previous budget, the Delhi government had said that special women mohalla clinics will be opened across the city to offer free gynaecological and other medical care services to them within walking distance from their homes.