Jharkhand govt takes step to end cases of ramshackle hospitals
The Jharkhand government has taken a step, first time in the state’s over two decades of existence, to end cases of ramshackle government hospitals waiting for repairing for years.
Additional chief secretary health Arun Kumar Singh informed The Telegraph that the government has issued a notification in the last week of February authorising civil surgeons of districts and in-charges of community health centre, primary health centres, sub-divisional hospitals, sub-health centres and maternity and child welfare clinics to carry out annual and periodic maintenance of health infrastructures.
“The civil surgeons can sanction periodic and annual maintenance funds to the tune of Rs 5 lakh while the regional deputy director can sanction up to Rs 25 lakh and director health services can sanction up to Rs 1 crore and they have to take clearance from the department only for funds in excess of Rs 1 crore.
“This reduces delay in waiting for departmental nods for getting repair done,” said Arun Kumar Singh.
Incidentally, earlier the in-charges of various health centres used to write to civil surgeons and to the departments for permission to get even minor repair works done and wait for years to get the sanction from the building construction unit of the health department to eventually see the repair work being carried out.
The notification also authorised funds ranging from Rs 10,000 (for health sub-centres) to Rs 5 lakh (district hospitals) for annual maintenance works and between Rs 1 lakh (for health sub-centre) and Rs 25 lakh (district hospitals) for periodic maintenance works.
In yet another first, the notification also authorises sanction of funds between Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 for annual maintenance of various categories of residential quarters of health centres and between Rs 15,000 and Rs 1 lakh for periodic maintenance of the same residential quarters.
The government has also notified separate paint colours for different categories of health infrastructure buildings.
“Hospitals in district headquarters will be painted in white, hospitals in subdivisions will be painted in light yellow, community health centres will be painted in light pink while primary health centres in light blue and health sub centres in light green,” the notification states.
“It was a much needed notification and would avoid embarrassing situations due to dilapidated structures and peeling plasters causing health officials to attend duty at risk to their life as it used to be a long and tedious process to get the sanction of funds for even minor repair works. Now with funds at our disposal we can do necessary repair works annually and periodically without waiting for sanction,” said a civil surgeon on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, additional chief secretary health Arun Kumar Singh has written to principal accountant general, Jharkhand seeking permission for sanction of Rs 4,44,39,83,000 given under 15th finance commission to the health department.
The amount would be used for financial years 2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24, 2024-25 and 2025-26 for various health infrastructure improvements and modernisation.