Budgetary demands for health passed in the state assembly

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Patna, Mar 10 (UNI) Amidst nosiy walkout by the entire Opposition, Bihar Assembly today passed the budgetary demands for allotment of Rs 3,026 crore, nine lakh and 51 thousand for the departments of Health, Science and Technology, Planning and Development and Public health Engineering Department (PHED) for the year 2008-09.

Replying to a question in the state assembly, Bihar Health Minister Chandra Mohan Rai said that the government had given top priority to the health sector and had made a provision of Rs 16,31.60, 43,000 in the budget for the year 2008-09.

He outlined the steps initiated by the Nitish Kumar government to improve the health and meadicare system, saying that the changes were now visible in the primary and rural health sector, which had been sterengthened and streamlined.

Dissatisfied with the response, the Oppsition members termed the budged as an "eye-wash", alleging that the government was misleading the people. RJD member Shakeel Ahmad Khan, RJD Chief Whip in the state assembly Ramchandra Purvey, Shyam Rajak and others said the health services in the state, especially in the rural areas were in a shamble, while the government was painting a rosy picture.

Shouting anti-government slogans, the entire Opposition walked out of the Lower House.

Later, Mr Rai said that in its short tenure of over two years, the state government constructed buildings of 2,000 health centres, which were in deliapidated condition. He also assured to construct the buildings of the health centres, which were in a wretched condition.

He announced to appoint seven doctors at each and every primary health centres, where 27 categories of medicines were being distributed free of cost to outdoors patients and 37 kinds given to indoor patients.

The minister said that in order to fill the vacant posts of doctors 2,500 doctors would be appointed on contract while 2,300 were already functioning in the state on contract basis. The process for appointment of 2173 regular doctors had been initiated in order to fill the vacancies in the medical colleges.

Highlighting the new schemes of the state government, he said that apart from free medicines and expansion of rural health services, the Chief Minister Relief Fund Scheme was a big succes as 900 poor patients, suffering from serious diseases were given financial aid for treatment.

Till date, over Rs six crores had been distributed among the poor patients, he added. Janni Bal Suraksha Yojana, Muskan, family planning schemes and the programmes for controling polio and leprosy were also giving good results.

In order to make the medicines prices more affordable the state government had decided to set up generic drug stores in the hospitals he said adding that tender for supplying such medicines had already been floated.

The Minister further said that in order to minimise the pressure in the Patna Medical College Hospital, the other government hospitals of the state capital were being developed as speciality centres. Mr Rai said apart from developing IGIMS as super special hospital, a medical and nursing college would also be set up in the campus and the teaching in both the colleges would begin from July 2008.

Three new medical colleges would also be established in the state in Pawapuri, Nalanda and the in North Bihar where the teaching would be initiated from the next academic session.

Later, the House passed the budgetary demands of Rs 16,31,60,43,000 for the Health department, Rs 1,05,65,77,000 for Science and Technology, Rs 4,45,16,73,000 for Planning and Development and Rs 8,43,66,64,000 for the PHED department.

The members also paid homage to the departed soul of former MLA and minister Karamchand Bhagat.

UNI RS LL RN1904

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