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Health budget hiked 4-fold to `3,000 crore in 5 years

The state government has increased the planned budget for the health department from Rs 871.87 crores in 2011-12 to Rs 2999.22 crores in 2016-17, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in the Assembly on Wednesday.

In an unprecedented move, the state government has decided to withdraw all types of user charges in government hospitals with a view to providing varied OPD and IPD services including investigations to patients free of charge.

Banerjee said that 8 new districts have been created at Nandigram, Jhargram, Bishnupur, Rampurhat, Diamond Harbour, Basirhat, Asansol, Kalimpong to improve and streamline the functioning of district level health administration.

In past few years, the state government has significantly brought down both maternal and infant mortality rate in Bengal. Banerjee said that maternal mortality rate had come down to 113 per 100,000 live births in 2011-13 from 145 maternal deaths in 2007-09. Infant mortality rate of Bengal has seen a sharp decline from 32 per 1000 live births in 2011 to 26 in 2015. Institutional delivery in the state has also increased from 65 per cent in 2010 to over 92 per cent in 2016.

The state government has set up 37 critical care units (CCU) and 21 high dependency units (HDU) which are operational in various tertiary and secondary level hospitals across the state. Around 14 more such CCUs and HDU units will be made functional by 2017-18, the CM stated in the Assembly.

To mitigate the crisis of doctors and nurses the state government has done a great deal of work by setting up 7 new medical colleges - 4 government run and 3 private. Altogether 1345 seats in MBBS and BDS courses have been increased in the existing as well as the new medical colleges taking the total number of seats to 3,150. Around 133 post graduate seats and 31 post-doctoral seats have also been added in various existing medical colleges.

SSKM Hospital has got 'Madhursneha', the first human milk bank in eastern India. The state has also taken a unique initiative for setting up a Cord Blood Bank in a government facility.

Construction of forty-two 300/500 bedded multi- super speciality hospitals in 15 districts has been taken up on war-footing. OPDs have already been made operational in 33 multi- super speciality hospitals and IPD services have also started in 20 multi super speciality hospitals.

Around 113 fair price medicine shops have been set up in PPP model in various medical colleges and rural level hospitals to provide quality medicines, surgical items, implant pacemakers, cardiac stents etc at discounts of 48-77 per cent on the MRP. Around 5 Mother Child Hubs with the state-of-the-art facilities for mother and infant care have become operational. Four more such units will be made operational in December 2017.
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