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J&K health department in dock for poor utilization of funds

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has pointed out poor utilization of funds allocated to the Health Department of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for reducing the incidence of lifestyle diseases and stressed the need for effective implementation of National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).

The Department of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India provides technical and financial support to the States/UTs under NPCDCS for strengthening the infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion, screening of 30 years and above population under Ayushman Bharat Health Wellness Centre, early diagnosis and management and referral to an appropriate level of healthcare facility.

Moreover, much thrust has been laid on generation of awareness for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases by strengthening preventive aspect of cancer under comprehensive primary healthcare through Ayushman Bharat Health Wellness Centre Scheme, by promotion of wellness activities, healthy lifestyles, healthy eating and various yoga related activities.

Every year State Programme Implementation Plan (SPIP) is formulated and then approved by the Department of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India. Accordingly, funds are released under NPCDCS.

In the data of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shared with the Lok Sabha in response to a question, poor utilization of funds has been pointed out and this can be gauged from the figures that during 2019-20, SPIP was approved at Rs 595.67 lakh for J&K but expenditure was only Rs 136.72 lakh.

Similarly, SPIP was approved at Rs 1253.80 lakh during 2020-21 financial year but expenditure was merely Rs 42.49 lakh. However, expenditure during 2021-22 was Rs 890.34 lakh as against approved SPIP of Rs 805.68 lakh. During the current financial year, which is going to end on March 31, 2023, against approved SPIP of Rs 792 lakh, expenditure was recorded only at Rs 142.23 lakh.

As far as Ladakh Union Territory is concerned, against approved SPIP of Rs 273.36 lakh, expenditure of only Rs 4.63 lakh has been made during the current financial year.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has asked all those States and UTs which have registered poor progress in utilization of funds including J&K and Ladakh to gear up the activities for effective implementation of NPCDCS.

In respect of cardiovascular and lifestyle diseases, the Government of India has made a provision for providing treatment in the Government hospitals either free or highly subsidized for the poor and needy. The patients with non-communicable diseases are entitled to get treatment at various health facilities including District Hospitals, Medical Colleges, central institutes like AIIMS and private sector hospitals.

Moreover, under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary or tertiary care hospitalization is provided and the treatment packages under AM-PMJAY are very comprehensive covering various treatment related aspects such as drugs and diagnostic services.

As per the studies conducted by the agencies of the Government of India, proportion of non-communicable diseases has increased during the past some years and strategy has been chalked out to reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases by 25% by 2025.

“Keeping in view the assistance being provided by the Government of India, all the concerned authorities of J&K should leave no stone unturned to generate awareness about the reasons contributing to life-style diseases so that goal of Government of India is achieved well within the stipulated time-frame”, sources stressed. Daily Excelsior

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