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Fund crunch hits health service schemes

By SANJOY RAY

GUWAHATI, May 29 � The State health sector is passing through a torrid time with a number of crucial and ambitious health service schemes, especially those meant for children, stand affected due to an acute fund crunch and poor fund management, much to the misery of the low income group people.

Worse, even post-kidney (renal) transplant drugs and anti-cancer drugs are not available for the patients.

Further, the Assam State AIDS Control Society, which is a Centre-funded unit, has not been able to go ahead with any new projects due to delay in release of funds this financial year.

If sources are to be believed, even the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, under which medical insurance is provided to poor families, has been hit by the fund crunch.

Among the schemes which have been severely hit by fund crunch or inordinate delay in release of funds, are the Assam Arogya Nidhi, under which assistance up to Rs 1.5 lakh is given to children below 12 years of age from weak financial backgrounds for heart surgery, kidney transplant, cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic mental illness and brain tumor.

Moreover, funds for schemes, like Sneha Sparsha, which was launched last year for children with serious ailments like thalassemia requiring bone marrow transplant, blood cancer requiring chemo therapy, kidney transplant, liver transplant and limb deformities requiring artificial and motorised limbs, has also been affected, official sources told this reporter.

Requesting anonymity, a senior health department official told The Assam Tribune that the government has now decided to release only a partial amount of what was actually sought, to facilitate surgery for children with congenital heart diseases.

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Fund crunch hits health service schemes

GUWAHATI, May 29 � The State health sector is passing through a torrid time with a number of crucial and ambitious health service schemes, especially those meant for children, stand affected due to an acute fund crunch and poor fund management, much to the misery of the low income group people.

Worse, even post-kidney (renal) transplant drugs and anti-cancer drugs are not available for the patients.

Further, the Assam State AIDS Control Society, which is a Centre-funded unit, has not been able to go ahead with any new projects due to delay in release of funds this financial year.

If sources are to be believed, even the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, under which medical insurance is provided to poor families, has been hit by the fund crunch.

Among the schemes which have been severely hit by fund crunch or inordinate delay in release of funds, are the Assam Arogya Nidhi, under which assistance up to Rs 1.5 lakh is given to children below 12 years of age from weak financial backgrounds for heart surgery, kidney transplant, cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic mental illness and brain tumor.

Moreover, funds for schemes, like Sneha Sparsha, which was launched last year for children with serious ailments like thalassemia requiring bone marrow transplant, blood cancer requiring chemo therapy, kidney transplant, liver transplant and limb deformities requiring artificial and motorised limbs, has also been affected, official sources told this reporter.

Requesting anonymity, a senior health department official told The Assam Tribune that the government has now decided to release only a partial amount of what was actually sought, to facilitate surgery for children with congenital heart diseases.