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Increased Spending, Reform Measures by Government Boost Healthcare in Odisha

Health services in Odisha, which presented a bleak scenario a decade back, has taken a turn for the better with increasing budgetary allocation and a slew of reform measures launched by the State Government to strengthen the delivery system. People of tribal and backward areas of the State suffered because of lopsided development in health infrastructure. However, delivery of health services is being strengthened through outcome-based participatory bottom of planning process commensurate with additional resource allocation through Central sponsored schemes like the National Health Mission (NHM) and more provision in the State budget. The provision for health sector in the State budget has also increased over the years. Allocation for health, which was Rs 1516.67 crore in 2010-11, has gone up manifold and reached Rs 6560.57 crore in 2018-19. From 0.77 percent on GSDP in 2010-11, allocation for health sector in State budget has increased to 1.48 percent. Many free and assured healthcare schemes have been launched during the last decade to achieve the guiding principles of public health system in the State which is ‘Sustha Odisha, Sukhi Odisha’ and ‘Healthcare for All-Each Life matters’.

Four new Government medical colleges and hospitals have been set up to expand the healthcare facilities across the State. Setting up of five more medical colleges and hospitals are on the pipeline. Accordingly, the total MBBS seats in the State has increased from 450 to 1,050 to address the shortage of doctors. The Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana launched by the Government on August 15, 2018 provides universal health coverage with special emphasis on health protection of the economically vulnerable families. Besides, several schemes and interventions of the Government has transformed health service scenario of Odisha over the years. These include Niramaya under which about 593 types of essential drugs and surgical items are provided free of cost to all categories of patients attending public health facilities. Other major schemes of the State include free diagnostic services (Nidaan), Free Dialysis Service (Sahay), free ambulance and blood services, free sanitary napkin distribution service (Khusi) and free mental healthcare. – New Indian Express