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Health sector requires constant attention and effective implementation
The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare stated that the utilisation of NRHM funds has gone up in states resulting in overall improvement in health sector. However infant mortality, prevention of cancer and diabetes remain areas of concern.

“The level of utilisation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funds and absorptive capacity of states has gone up from Rs. 4,873 crore in 2005-06 to Rs. 14,264 crore in 2009-2010. The Central government has provided Rs 53,000 crore to the states under NRHM in the last six years.  In general there has been an improvement in the health infrastructure, referral transport and augmentation in human resources,”  Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad has said.

He was addressing the state health ministers’ conference which began here on 12th January. The Union minister pointed out that the key health indicators have not improved even after initiating an integrated model in the national programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

‘‘The pace of decline in various key health indicators like infant mortality rate (IMR), maternal mortality rate (MMR), total fertility rate and death and morbidity due to communicable diseases has not improved as compared to pre-NRHM period. While southern and western states have shown excellent results,  central, eastern, and north states need to closely look at the implementation of schemes, identify bottlenecks and improve their performance,”  Azad said.

“It is important that 70 to 80% of the NRHM funds are utilised for strengthening the sub-centres and PHCs across the country to be able to convince the Planning Commission for higher outlay during the 12th Plan period so as to achieve the millennium development goals,” he added.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy speaking on the occasion said that even as the country’s average MMR remains at 254, Andhra Pradesh has achieved an MMR of 154 and is targeting to bring it down further to below 100 by 2012. 

“Over the last five years the health budget of the state has gone up from Rs 1,680 crore to 4,300 crore. However even as the number of good private hospitals have increased across the state, they remain beyond the reach of  BPL families. While Rajiv Arogyasri was instituted as an answer to these problems, the government health infrastructure and human resource needs to be strengthened,”  the Chief Minister said.

Source: http://expressbuzz.com/