Impetus to healthcare sector missing in Budget

News Network
February 1, 2022

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Fresh impetus to the healthcare sector was missing in the Union Budget 2022-23 presented in the Parliament on Tuesday, healthcare sector players and experts said.

D.V.S. Soma Raju, Executive Director, SLG Hospital, feels that while the existing healthcare machinery in India stood up to the challenge posed by Covid-19 pandemic and did its best to keep a possible disaster under check, this sector needed a fresh impetus to enhance and strengthen the healthcare net across the country.

"The Finance Minister, in her Union Budget speech, announced levy of 'Health & Education cess' for the year 2022-23 but did not specify where this additional money would be utilised. I strongly feel the government must directly invest or encourage more private investments in the healthcare sector to ensure semi-urban and rural locations receive quality healthcare facilities," he said.

He was also of the view that the government must encourage digital health avenues to spread operations across the length and breadth of the country.

Dr Krishna Reddy Nallamalla President, InOrder and South Asia Regional Director, ACCESS Health International, said: "A 10 per cent increase in allocation to health is not in line with the health policy aspiration of public spending of 2.5 per cent of GDP. Increased allocation to other social sectors that have a bearing on health status of people is a saving grace."

Dr Gayatri Kamineni, COO, Kamineni Hospitals, is of the view that the Union Budget is a progressive one that holds the potential to tackle the economic challenges faced by the country in the post-Covid period.

"It is heartening to see Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's focus on sectors like health, including digital health ecosystem and mental health and wellbeing," she said.

She hailed the announcement of the National Digital Health Ecosystem. "The open platform that will consist of digital registries of health providers, health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities, will go a long way in providing quality and on-demand healthcare to the country's people."

"Realising the tremendous pressure piled on the minds of the people of India due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the FM's announcement of the National Tele Mental Health programme couldn't have come at a more opportune time," Kamineni added.

Vishal Bali, Executive Chairman, Asia Healthcare Holdings, pointed out that the Budget is silent on the increase in public expenditure on healthcare and the path to 2.5 per cent of GDP spent on healthcare which is the much-needed reform path for this sector and enablement of healthcare access to India.

"However, the focus on digital healthcare with the National Digital Health Ecosystem is a welcome move that will include digital registries of health professionals and facilities, a unique health identity, and help strengthen the foundation of universal access to health care facilities. The announcement of a national telemedicine-led mental health program with a network of 23 telemental health centers, with Nimhans serving as the nodal centres is also a step in the right direction," he said.

"However, reform in paramedical education for faster enablement of clinical/paraclinical talent is still not addressed. While the FM led Budget 21 made healthcare a central subject, Budget 22 does lack continuity of that vision," he added. 

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News Network
January 20,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 20: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the murder of a BJP youth wing activist has announced a cash reward for those sharing information about two suspects allegedly involved in the case.

Praveen Nettaru was murdered by miscreants on July 26 night in front of his poultry shop at Bellare in Dakshina Kannada district.

The NIA has announced Rs 5 lakh each for sharing any information on Mohammed Sherif (53) from Kodaje in Bantwal taluk and K A Masud (40) from Nekkiladi, who were both members of the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI). 

The identity of informers will be kept confidential, the NIA said. People, who have any information in this regard, can contact the office of NIA in Bengaluru, the agency sources said.

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News Network
January 17,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 17: The ruling BJP in Karnataka is all set to take out a 'Rath Yatra' in the state after the budget session ahead of Assembly elections.

The Rath Yatra would be taken out from four directions in the state to reach out to the people.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has stated on Monday late night that the details regarding the same are yet to be finalised. CM Bommai is taking part in the two-day National Executive Committee meeting.

He also stated that many political decisions were being taken in the meeting. The information right from the booth level to the party organisation had been given.

The high command is likely to take a call regarding B.Y. Vijayendra, son of party veteran B.S. Yediyurappa. The party had snubbed him during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Hubballi to inaugurate the National Youth Festival.

BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal from Vijayapura has attacked the ruling BJP government in Karnataka over providing reservation to Panchamasali sub sect under OBC quota. He had attacked CM Bommai and cabinet ministers also. The religious seer had warned that if BJP expels MLA Yatnal, the Panchamasali community will stand with him.

Chief Minister Bommai is in a fix over the matter. He maintained that the matter had been brought to the notice of the high command and a decision would be taken in this regard after the national executive.

The saffron party is seriously putting all efforts to come back to power in the state on Hindutva agenda and in the name of PM Modi. 

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News Network
January 22,2023

Mangaluru, Jan 22: A 35-year-old man was beaten up by a mob for allegedly misbehaving with a minor girl and was handed over to the police on Saturday.

The accused has been identified as a resident of Ullal, police said. The incident occurred at Kankanady on Saturday, when an eight-year-old girl was plucking fruits. 

She was reportedly harassed by the accused who was engaged in masonry work nearby.

Hearing the girl's screams, the public gathered at the spot, caught the accused, and thrashed him. He was later handed over to the police. 

Kankanady police, who arrested the accused, have taken up investigation.

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