Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said this after meeting Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad at Nirman Bhawan here on Friday.
A high-level delegation of the state government headed by Singh and comprising state health minister Thakur Kaul Singh, industry minister Mukesh Agnihotri and T.G. Negi Advisor to the Chief Minister, called on Azad to discuss various developmental projects and schemes relating to the health ministry.
Singh said that Azad has sanctioned an amount of Rs 5 crore grant to each nursing health institute of Mandi, Chamba and Nahan and Rs 2 crore to nursing training institutes of Kullu and has given necessary instructions to the health ministry officials for release of the funds immediately.
The CM said the state government will receive the grants in a week's time.
Singh pleaded for enhancement of central assistance from present Rs 155 crore per annum to Rs 205 crore rupees per annum under NHRM keeping in view of the performance of health sector in the state and told that state govt has fully utilized the funds under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) during last financial year.
He said the central funds to state government were curtailed due to failure of the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in providing the state share under NRHM programme which had badly affected the functioning of various schemes.
He said that the present Congress-led state government has deposited the state share of Rs 25 crore which was not deposited since 2007 and hence pleaded for liberal central funding for various health programmes in the state.
He said that separate website of NRHM will be launched in the state in a week's time which will educate the people of various programmes launched under the scheme so as the people could come forward to avail the benefits under the programme.
He said that present Congress government has increased the budget to health sector by 22.6pc in comparison to last year while the average budget on health sector was increased by only 10pc by the previous BJP government.
He asked the Union government to give incentives to state government for granting top most priority to the health sector in the state.
He told that budget for Tanda Medical College and Indira Gandhi Medical College has been increased from previous Rs 7 crore to Rs 30 crore during current financial year and said that it will give a boost to research and infrastructural facilities in the premier health institutions of the state.
Singh said that state government has implemented the Central government's Pvt Clinic Establishment Act 2012 and has repealed the state act for better co-ordination among central and state agencies for implementation of the act in the state.
He said that state has professionally qualified staff to run the public health cadre and health professionals are fully competent and qualified to meet the professional requirements of the cadre and said that there is no need for creating separate public health cadre in the state.
He demanded to cover the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) Shimla under the Prime Minister's health security scheme for upgrading the infrastructure and research facilities of the prestigious institute and bring it to level of AIIMS New Delhi.
Azad appreciated the steps taken by present Congress government to strengthen the health institutions of the state and said that Centre will provide liberal funding to state government in all health schemes to boost the health sector.
He thanked Singh for giving top priority to health sector and hoped that Himachal health indicators will further improve to bring it to the best in the country in coming years.
--IBNS (Posted on 26-04-2013)