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Karnataka allocates 4% of total budget to healthcare

While the overall funding for the health sector remains the same as last year at 4% (₹15,145 crore) of the total Budget, the focus this time is only on upgrading public health infrastructure, strengthening lab services, and establishing critical care hubs in every district.

Apart from construction of 100-bedded taluk hospitals at a cost of ₹280 crore in Anekal, Nelamangala, Hoskote, Sringeri, Khanapura, Shirahatti, and Yelandur taluks where there are no taluk hospitals, the Budget has proposed to start day-care chemotherapy centres in each district at a total cost of ₹20 crore.

On cancer
For early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and cervical cancer, the incidence of which is on the rise, the Budget has announced that digital mammography equipment will be provided to 20 district hospitals. Besides, colposcopy machines will be provided to K.C. General hospital in Bengaluru and district hospitals of Udupi, Kolar, and Davanagere at the cost of ₹21 crore.

While there is no mention of any new health scheme or provision of manpower to effectively run the existing facilities, allocations have been made for repairs and renovation and infrastructure development.

Strengthen existing facilities
C.N. Manjunath, former director of Jayadeva Institute, said the need of the hour is to reinforce and strengthen the existing facilities with adequate manpower to improve their functionality.

“We should optimally utilise the existing facilities and focus should move from construction to creation of posts with exclusive budgetary support for quality care. The Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka health scheme should have got some allocation for revision of package rates. Because of the poor package rates, many private hospitals are not keen on empanelment and this in turn is resulting in more patient load on the public facilities,” he said.

Narayana Subramaniam, Director of Clinical Innovation at Sparsh Hospitals, said leveraging technology can result in early and low-cost diagnosis of non communicable disease which enables them to be treated close to home and not to travel to tier 1 cities for treatment. “Better public- private partnerships can ensure that patients are not waiting for long periods of time at government institutions for treatment. This can be achieved by ensuring wider coverage of government health schemes, as has been achieved in other States,” the doctor said. The Hindu

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