New Delhi: Citing huge investments done by the UPA government in health care sector, former Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said any move towards slashing its budgetary allocation will be shocking.
Azad, who was Health Minister during the UPA regime, said he fought for years with the Planning Commission to get increase in the budget for health ministry by nearly 300 per cent.
"Now the present government instead of sticking to the increase, they are going for the cut in the budget and their financial position is far better than what we had. The amount of saving they have, I must say they are very lucky," he said expressing concerns over the government's reported move to cut Health Ministry's budget.
"It will be more shocking for the entire country and for the entire globe," Azad told reporters at Indian Women's Press Corps here.
He said a lot of initiatives were undertaken by the UPA government in the health sector. "I got 71 cancer institutions opened. For the first time, we increased the number of doctors, we gave sanction to 40 medical colleges. In UPA I and UPA II, we upgraded 90 medical colleges into super speciality centres," the Congress leader said.
He said money has already been earmarked for many projects in the health care sector.
"That means everything will come to stand still across the country. The whole creation of huge infrastructure will come to a stand still. It is a matter of grave concern for the entire country. We have taken too much pain to increase the health budget. This (slashing health budget) will be more shocking for the entire country, for the entire globe," said Azad, a Rajya Sabha MP.
It was reported in section of media that the government has ordered a cut of nearly 20 per cent in its 2014-15 budget allocation for the health sector.
The Health Ministry has been allocated about Rs 39,000 crore for this fiscal by the government.