Himachal Pradesh to spend more on health

March 21st, 2012 - 1:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, March 21 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh has given priority to health by increasing its budget by 25 percent in the next fiscal as compared to the previous year, an official said here Wednesday.

The budget for 2012-13 has a provision of outlay of Rs.1054.27 crore in health, this constitutes an increase of almost 25 percent over this fiscal, a government spokesperson told IANS.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, in his budget speech, said the state has recorded a drop of 15 percent in infant mortality rate (IMR) in the last three years, which includes a decline of 11 percent in the last one year only. This is highest in the country.

“The child sex ratio has increased from 896 to 906, institutional deliveries have gone upto 71 percent, fertility rate has come down to 1.9 and population growth rate from 2001-11 has been only 12.81 percent. All these indices indicate the continuing success of initiatives taken by our government. We are committed to provide best health services to the people of Himachal,” Dhumal said.

He said under the Matri Sewa Yojna, free healthcare would be provided in government health institutions to all new born babies and their mothers up to age of one year.

The chief minister said the Mukhya Mantri Vidyarthi Swasthya Karyakaram would be strengthened to meet the health needs of the students. “All school children will be provided de-worming medicines free of cost and special attention will be paid to their dental health.”

As per the budget proposals, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana will be expanded to cover more than 300,000 additional beneficiaries, taking the total number of beneficiaries to more than 400,000 by extending the scheme to MGNREGA workers, building and other construction workers, domestic workers, street vendors, ‘ekal naris’ (single women) and persons with more than 70 percent disability.

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