Say there is a need to allocate more funds to sector, praise move to start drive against sickle cell anaemia
Former health minister Rajesh Tope said the move to do R&D on PPP basis was a dream that the Central government is trying to sell. File pic
Former health ministers of Maharashtra have expressed displeasure with the Budget 2023 over its allocations to the health sector. One of the former ministers said there was a need for more funds and added that the Union government has not learnt any lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic. They, however, praised the announcement to open more nursing colleges and the start of a drive to eliminate sickle cell anaemia.
Ex-health minister Suresh Shetty said, “We expected a drastic increase in the health budget after the pandemic. However, that didn’t materialise. It is a huge disappointment for the people working in the health sector. One good thing about the Budget is that the Central government has taken up the Maharashtra government’s programme for the treatment and prevention of sickle cell anaemia. We have been working on this for the past 15 years.”
Also read: Maharashtra: 10 lakh to be screened for anaemia
“All over the world, governments play a major role in research and also finance private institutions to conduct research in various spheres including medical/health science, forensic science, and even mental health. So, it is a good move to do research and development on public-private partnership, but we have to see how many private players will come forward and join hands with the government for the same."
Rajesh Tope, who held charge of the health ministry during the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s tenure, said, “According to the planning commission, the health budget allocation should be around 6 to 7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). This shows that the current allocation is insufficient. The government should emphasise on health budget more because COVID has taught us a lesson.”
Speaking on R&D on PPP basis, he said, “These all are dreams that the government is selling to the people. They should give more funds for it first.”