The doctors at the hospital say the institution needed this hike to expand the infrastructure. “There is large-scale expansion of infrastructure taking place at AIIMS. An increased outlay will help complete that and transform the hospital for the better,” said a senior doctor. Recently, the hospital has started burns and plastic surgery facilities. Sources said the newly-constructed surgery and geriatric blocks would also get operational soon.
Safdarjung has been allocated Rs 1,515 crore, an increase of Rs 227 crore from last year’s Rs 1,318 crore. Ram Manohar Lohia has been allocated Rs 950 crore. The Budget outlay for Lady Hardinge Medical College and Sucheta Kriplani Hospital are Rs 600 crore and Rs 145 crore, respectively.
In total, a Budget outlay of Rs 2,23,846 crore has been proposed for health and well-being in 2021-20, an increase of 137% over previous year, with Rs 35,000 crore earmarked for Covid-19 vaccine in the upcoming fiscal.
Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia, says one of the greatest lessons this pandemic has taught the world is that health needs to be a priority.
“The focus on health in India’s Budget announcement is a testimony to the country’s commitment to not just fight the novel coronavirus pandemic but also build a stronger and resilient health system,” she added.
“India has not only proactively and belligerently dealt with the Covid pandemic but also continues to support countries in South-East Asia and beyond to protect vulnerable populations against the pandemic.”