New Delhi: With the Delhi government’s introduction of giving financial aid of Rs 1,000 to poor HIV/AIDS patients in the budget, the initiative has indeed brought a million-dollar smile to thousands of faces suffering from the disease.
As per the budget, orphaned children infected with HIV/AIDS will get Rs 2,050 per month and others will get Rs 1,750 per month, which has earmarked an initial corpus of Rs 5 crore for the ambitious health scheme. This scheme was among the key highlights of Delhi government`s budget for 2012-13 in the health sector, for which Rs 2,124 crore (14.16 per cent of total outlay) has been allocated.
State Health Minister AK Walia told a newspaper that more than 300 beneficiaries have already been identified for the issuance of the assistance money. "There are about 10,000 HIV/AIDS patients registered with us for anti-retroviral treatment. These patients need extra nutrition and balanced diet to cope with their compromised immune system. The financial aid is aimed at helping such patients," said Walia.
Besides, the budget had also announced the introduction of improved immunisation cover for children with pentavalent vaccine, which is administered for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza type B.
In a relief for thalassaemia patients, the government will introduce VAT exemption on `blood bags` (lucocite filters), which will reduce the cost of blood storage and transfusion.
Among other highlights were expansion of the ambulance fleet, increasing the number of dialysis machines at hospitals and improving the infrastructure at Delhi State Cancer Institute as the budget focused on expanding the health infrastructure and offering medical assistance to the poor.
It also proposes to construct six new 200-bed hospitals, one new 100-bed health centre and a 750-bed hospital-cum-medical college and the new hospital buildings are expected to come up at Burari, Ambedkar Nagar, Hastsal, Madipur and Sarita Vihar.