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All meals at Govt hospitals at Rs 40!

By Dalim Phukan

MORIGAON, July 24 - Believe it or not, the Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Assam is supplying diet to indoor patients to every government hospital, including all Medical College hospitals, district and subdivisional hospitals, PHCs, CHCs etc., at an unimaginable Budget.

The Health Department earmarked the Budget for diet money for indoor patients of government hospitals vide notification no. HLB. 560/2007/107 dated September 23, 2010 fixing the rate at Rs 40 per patient per day which includes breakfast, two meals with rice, dal, mixed vegetables, egg, afternoon tea, fruits etc . The diet scheme for the poor indoor patients in government hospitals has turned out to be a great failure as the money sanctioned per patient cannot get proper food items to the patients.

According to sources, the diet money to every indoor patient at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is earmarked at Rs 200 per day. As the market price of all food items are going up, the Central Health Department has already proposed to enhance the diet money in all Central Government hospitals. But in Assam, the diet money rate has not been enhanced till date. A balanced diet at Rs 40 per day is not possible for a patient even in a government hospital.

Expressing concern over the matter, several senior citizens have sent a memorandum to State Health Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma demanding to enhance the diet money for patients from Rs 40 to Rs 300, considering the exorbitant prices of all food items in the market. Poor rural patients of the State do not even get decent food in government hospitals when their treatment is going on. Senior citizens of Morigaon district have urged the Government to take needful steps in this regard at the earliest.

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