Medical Admissions 2019-20

Medical Admissions 2019-20

Yogi govt slashed medical education budget by 50%

PUBLISH DATE 17th August 2017

Hospital Where Deaths Took Place Among Those Hit

As the death of children in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College (BRDMC) grabs national headlines, a sharp cut by the Yogi Aditya Nath government in the budgetary allocation for medical education this year is raising questions. That's because this is the head under which the BRDMC, like other state-run colleges, receives funds.

The budgetary allocation for 14 such medical colleges and their associated teaching hospitals has been pared to less than half, from Rs 2,344 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 1,148 crore for 2017-18. The allocation for BRDMC followed the pattern, plunging from Rs 15.9 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 7.8 crore for 2017-18.More specifically , its allocation for machinesequipment was slashed from Rs 3 crore to just Rs 75 lakh.

The budgetary allocation fell across all medical colleges.For example, medical colleges in Kanpur and Allahabad saw their allocations come down from Rs 15.9 crore each to Rs 3.3 crore and Rs 4.2 crore, respectively . The government has focussed more on converting hospitals into medical colleges, for which the budgetary allocation has been raised from Rs 66.5 crore to Rs 515 crore. The Akhilesh Yadav government had been allocating higher funds for revamping existing medical colleges and hospitals, besides proposing new medical colleges ­ like the ones in Jaunpur and Bijnor.

A look at the allocations for the medical education department over the last few years (see graphic) shows a steady increase between 2012-13 and 2014-15, just before the Lok Sabha elections. This was also the time the previous government had proposed setting up a 500bed paediatric institute in BRDMC. After the LS elections, the allocation for the department in 2015-16 fell drastically but rose again in the next year when assembly elections were due. When contacted, medical education minister Ashutosh Tandon said the cut in the funds for medical colleges would be compensated in the supplementary budget which is expected to be tabled later this year. “For the time being, the department has enough funds to carry out essential services in the state medical colleges,“ he told TOI. Sources in the CM's office said the state government was planning to examine funds spent on various medical education projects in the past many years. “This is likely after chief secretary Rajive Kumar submits his inquiry report on the cause of death of children and also the reason for oxygen supply shortage,“