Public Health & Hospital being a State subject, the responsibility of strengthening public healthcare system including setting up of new hospitals, up gradation and strengthening of existing health facilities lies with the respective State/ UT Governments. Hence the data regarding Government hospitals equipped with doctors, employees and basic healthcare facilities for 100 square kilometer especially in rural and backward areas is not maintained centrally.
However, in order to provide comprehensive primary health care, the Government of India has approved setting up of 1.5 lakh Ayushman Bharat-Healthand Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) across the country by upgrading Sub-Health Centre (SHCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Urban Primary Health Centres (UPHCs).
Further to strengthen the Public Health Infrastructure effectively and to manage any future pandemics the following initiatives have been taken:
- During the FY 2019-20, funds to the tune of Rs. 1113.21 crore were released to the States/ UTs under NHM towards management and containment of COVID-19 pandemic.
- Since September, 2020, the Union Government has allowed use of State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) for various COVID-19 relatedactivities.
- During the financial year 2020-21, Rs. 8147.28 Crs. have been released to the States/ UTs towards the India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package. In addition, Rs.110.60 Crs have been made available for insurance of Health Care workers. Thus, a total amount of Rs.8257.88 Crs have been provisioned to provide support to States/UTs for health infrastructure strengthening, expansion of laboratory network, surveillance and contact tracing, procurement of PPEs, N-95 masks, ventilatorsetc.
- In addition, ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II has also been approved by the Cabinet with Rs. 23,123 crores (with Rs. 15,000 Cr as Central Component & Rs. 8,123 Cr as State component) and is being implemented from 1st July, 2021. This includes support to State/ UT level for ramping up health infrastructure including those in rural, tribal and peri-urban areas closer to the community, providing support for procurement of drugs and diagnostics to enhance service delivery at district and sub district levels for management of COVID-19 cases (including paediatric care) and for maintaining a buffer of drugs, support for IT Interventions such as implementation of Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) and expanding access to tele-consultations in all districts and support for capacity building and training for all aspects of management ofCOVID-19.
- Further, PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) with an outlay of Rs. 64,180 crores till 2025-26 envisages increased investments in public health and other health reforms to safeguard against future resurgences of COVID-19, if any, and future public health emergencies by :
- Strengthening of Health and Wellness Centres in villages and cities for early detection of diseases.
- Addition of new critical care-related beds at district levelhospitals.
- Operationalization of Regional National Centres for Disease Control (NCDC).
- Establishment of metropolitan units in urban areas and BSL-III labs across the country to strengthen the laboratorynetwork.
- Strengthening of existing Viral Diagnostic and Research Labs (VRDLs) and creation of new National Institutes of Virology (NIVs) and a National Institute for One Health throughICMR.
- Strengthening of Public Health Units at international Points of Entry (PoEs).
The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.