KOZHIKODE: The National Rural Health Mission has been badly hit by the shortage of central funds.
The previous UPA government had pruned the funds by around Rs 7,500 crore in the last budget and the NDA government is continuing the same policy indicating that it wants to reduce the expenditure in the health care/ social welfare sector.
The funds for CHC and PHC under the hospital management committee has been slashed by 50 per cent in the current financial year. Each CHC will get Rs 1.25 lakh and PHC Rs 82.5,000 only.
Under the non-communicable diseases (NCD) category, Wayanad district has not been allocated funds for the dreaded sickle cell anaemia.
The district has 765 patients, the majority of them tribals, who need Rs 1.75 lakh per month for treatment.
“Now we are using the funds under another head. We have been assured that funds would be released soon,” NRHM Wayanad district programme officer Dr E. Bijoy said.
In the southern districts, the salary of health workers under NCD has been pending since April.
The annual fund for each sub-centre that falls under PHC has been reduced to Rs 2,500 from Rs 10,000. Each PHC has three to eight sub-centres.
The fund is being used for purchasing essential medicines and ensuring basic facilities at the centre.
The shortage of fund has directly affected ASHA workers and NRHM block co-ordinators in terms of their allowance.
The programmes of Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (IMHANS) Kozhikode, including community mental health programme, child development disability programme and child development services, which catered to thousands of patients in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram and Kasargod districts, are in trouble due to the fund crisis.
The government was forced to announce `1.6 crore recently after the issue hogged media space.
In Kasargod district, though a proposal to the tune of `4.18 crore has been made for the treatment of endosulfan victims, only Rs 3 crore has been sanctioned.