IMA’s viewpoint on the Delhi budget 2017 With an allocation of Rs 5,736 crores for the health care, budget highlights indicate that healthcare infrastructure is a key priority for the AAP government. New Delhi, March 8, 2017: AAP ruled Delhi government allocated more than half of this planned expenditure on healthcare, education and civic infrastructure development. This is the second consecutive year that healthcare and medical infrastructure has been a priority in Delhi budget. Focus on sanitation and natural resource improvements also shine through the budget. To promote eco-friendly public transport system, subsidy to battery-operated vehicles was proposed. Action plan for cleaning of Yamuna River and the water sector also got a generous allocation of Rs 2,100 crore. Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said, “Focus on primary healthcare especially in quality-healthcare lacking regions of the city seems to be the top agenda and rightfully so. A significant proportion of the total budget outlay seems to be allocated to improving medical infrastructure so we expect to see multiple reforms and initiatives in this area. Focus on waste management through waste disposal reforms is also a welcome move. Proper standards of hygiene are imperative in the control measures against infectious diseases and last year’s Dengue, Chikungunya and flu outbreaks are a testimony to this fact. It seems clear that the government is taking good lessons from past mistakes.” “A shortage of hospital beds has been on the radar and on the list of promises since last year’s budget. This year the promise comes full circle with 15,000 additional beds being rolled out in major medical facilities. Moreover, the city’s primary healthcare has always struggled to catch pace with the tertiary facilities; however, the proposal to build over 1,000 mohalla clinics will have a reinforcing impact on primary healthcare and will surely seek to bridge this care gap”, adds Dr K K Aggarwal. Following are some key highlights with respect to healthcare: • Number of beds in Delhi Government hospitals will be increased from 10,000 to 25,000. • Patient capacity to be increased by adding seven hospitals and remodeling 10 existing hospitals. • A dedicated allocation of Rs 15 crore for medical tests. • Government tie up with 21 private laboratories to provide 13 expensive tests like MRI, CT scan, PET-CT which will reduce the unavailability and long queues at hospitals. • Plan to roll out 5 de-addiction centers. • Focus on improving air quality and resources for waste management • 150 mohalla clinics to be fully functional by the end of the year. Currently, 110 such clinics are functional across the city. • 150 polyclinics with a variety of specialties to be rolled out by the end of the financial year.