The ever-increasing patient load in municipal hospitals, shortage of doctors and rising doctor-patient conflict were addressed in the BMC’s health budget for 2017-18, with the civic body proposing increased seats in medical colleges, 265 new posts for teachers and 582 new posts for nurses in various hospitals. In addition, 816 posts of doctors will be filled in a year to improve primary health services. A budget of Rs 30 crore has been sanctioned to instal 400 ventilators to plug the acute shortage of intensive care support for critical patients.
In a move that will also make resident doctors happy, who were until last week protesting against unsafe working conditions, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is constructing new hostels for doctors in four locations to resolve congested living conditions. A budget of Rs 2.5 crore has been proposed for this.
The health budget this year has been slashed by 10 per cent from Rs 3,693 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 3,311.7 crore for 2017-18. Of the total amount, Rs 555.77 crore has been set aside for the capital works — higher than last year’s actual capital expenditure of Rs 442.41 crore. A significant allocation has been made to control tuberculosis in the city following the Central government’s promise to root out the disease by 2025. In a new initiative, BMC will also begin “Aapli Chikitsa” to provide blood and urine tests in dispensaries, maternity homes and hospitals. The reports will be uploaded on online database for easy access by doctors in all BMC hospitals.
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