Oxygen being supplied to various hospitals in the state capital on Sunday.
Oxygen being supplied to various hospitals in the state capital on Sunday.

BHOPAL: The government has trimmed down the budget of the health department and that of the medical education department for fiscal 2020-21. The departments could not brace up for onslaught of the corona pandemic because of the slim budget. This is the reason why the government is in deep trouble now.

For the 2020-21 fiscal, a sum of Rs 7,557 crore was kept for the health department. Nevertheless, the amount was slashed to Rs 6,709 crore. Out of the above amount, only a sum of Rs 4,709 crore was spent. The health department spent Rs 6,817 crore in 2019-20. The amount spent on health last year was less than what was used in 2019-20.

When the corona pandemic began, it was said that the health services would be improved. The budget of the medical education department was also pruned. Last year, the budget of the department was Rs 2,299 crore, which was lopped off to Rs 2,251 crore. Only a sum of Rs 1,409 crore was spent out of that amount.

In comparison to 2019-20, the budget of the medical education department was cut. The department spent Rs 2,090 crore in 2019-20. Despite the corona pandemic, Rs 680 crore less amount was spent.

According to a senior officer, less funds were used since the finance department declined to approve many projects. He said spending had been lopped off further, after the finance department reduced the budget. When the corona pandemic began in March last year, it was stated that health would be on the government’s priority list. Yet, nothing has been done in the past one year to show that the government is really keen on bolstering the health services.

The health department and the medical education department spent most of the funds only on salaries and allowances of their employees. Both the departments have not spent any significant amount on infrastructure related to health. The demand for equipment by medical colleges and district hospitals was ignored. The doctors continuously demanded resources, but the government did not pay any heed to it.

The government has trimmed the funds related to health services on the excuse of a severe financial crunch. This is the reason why the state is suffering now.

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Free Press Journal