Telangana govt boosting public health infra to deal with emergencies like Covid: CM KCR

Hyderabad: The Telangana government is strengthening the health department by increasing budget allocations to improve public health and to effectively deal with emergencies like Covid-19 should they arise, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said on Wednesday.

Speaking after laying the foundation for a new block in the state-run Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here, he said the allocation for health sector in the budget was Rs 2,100 crore in 2014 (when the state was formed), while it was over Rs 12,360 crore in 2023-24.

Recalling his interaction with a group of entomologists a few years ago, he quoted them as having told him that infectious diseases like COVID-19 may surface again in the future.

“They told me that losses would be minimal where health systems are strong. Many people would die and the losses would be heavy where the health system is weak. We can understand the importance of the health department from this,” he said.

“Since then, we are strengthening this department by substantially increasing the budget allocation after holding extensive discussions with health minister and department officials to make the health department meet any emergency or any kind of eventuality,” he said.

Rao, who launched distribution of nutrition kits to prevent malnutrition and anaemia in pregnant women on the occasion, said the programme is aimed at avoiding stunted growth among children.

He said officials of the health department and the major state-run hospitals should plan for strengthening and expanding the health services.

The Chief Minister also said political leaders, media and others often find fault with the health department over the services rendered in hospitals.    He asked Health Minister T Harish Rao and officials to improve the department’s public relations as  it would make people fully aware of its services. He also urged the health officials to continue their services to people with proper commitment.