March 2, 2021 12:05:37 am
The ruling BJP in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Monday tabled a draft budget of Rs 8,370 crore, with emphasis on upgrading health infrastructure in the city, including a dedicated cancer hospital. This is an increase of Rs 856 crore as compared to the previous budget in 2020-21.
The PMC made a budget estimate of Rs 7,514 crore for 2020-21, but is likely to achieve only Rs 4,500 crore by the end of this fiscal. The civic body is relying on increasing revenue from property tax despite rejecting 11 per cent hike proposed by the civic administration. This is the last budget before the PMC goes to polls early next year. Hence, the ruling party was worried over development works slowing down in the city due to the pandemic.
The ruling BJP, on the basis of the experience throughout the Covid-19 situation, has realised that there are major gaps with regard to health infrastructure, and that health is one of the main concerns.
The proposed medical college of the PMC will be functional from the next financial year with admission to 100 students in the coming academic session. A provision of Rs 146 crore has been made for the purpose, which includes recruitment of 66 medical professionals as faculty.
The PMC has decided to start a dedicated cancer hospital on the lines of Tata Memorial hospital in Mumbai. The hospital will be named Nanaji Deshmukh cancer hospital and either be started in Warje or Baner. It will be developed in over 10,000 sq m of civic land by VAMED, a company in the healthcare sector based out of Austria.
“There is no dedicated cancer hospital in the five districts of western Maharashtra. Cancer treatment is expensive and unaffordable for the poor. Thus, the civic hospital would cater to the increasing number of cancer patients in the city,” Rasane said.
Rasane added that VAMED will also be involved in setting up urology and uro-surgery ultramodern centre in the existing Dr Kotnis hospital at Shukrawar Peth.
Rasane also said as there was a need to provide expensive services to the poor, intensive care unit will be set up in one civic hospital in each of the five zones and a budgetary provision of Rs 5 crore has been made for it. Mukundrao Lele hospital in the heart of city would also be upgraded at the cost of Rs 1 crore, he added.
A special project named Arogya Vardhan would be taken up in association with NGOs and citizen groups to promote preventive measures for health ailment at the cost of Rs 5 crore. The civic-owned blood bank would be ready in the next fiscal after work on it began in the current financial year. A provision of Rs 70 lakh has been set aside for it.
A budgetary allocation of Rs 2 crore has been made to set up a state-of-the-art facility to diagnose heart ailments. An additional Rs 3 crore will be used to set up a similar facility dedicated to children up to the age of 12 at Kamla Nehru hospital. Also, the PMC will spend Rs 3 crore for the diagnosis of breast cancer for women.
The PMC has recently purchased two new cardio ambulances to serve patients in need of emergency care and Rs 1 crore will be used to purchase two more cardio ambulances.
Covid-19 has led to an increase in the number of mental health patients, and the PMC has decided to start counselling centres with the help of Savitribai Phule Pune University.
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