States performing better in providing health facilities to rural people under the national rural health mission (NRHM) will get additional incentives in terms of more funds. Better performing states may gain up to 28 percent above last year’s allocation if they undertake reforms by supplying free generic medicines and better public health care facilities.
Pulok Chatterjee, principal secretary to PM, in a review meeting with the health ministry dwelt upon both the initiatives.
On the other hand, if states fail to have a facility-wise audit, they could also see a drop in their allocation. States may lose 7.5 percent allocation if found lacking in deployment of human resource and the same amount if they don’t take up facility-wise audit. Similarly, if the mother and child tracking system is not satisfactory, support for the second auxiliary nurse and midwife could be withdrawn. [Auxiliary nurses are key workers to support healthcare of poor communities and they are at the interface of health services and the community. Auxiliary nurses and midwives are seen as the first link between the consumer and provider. For the first time, the mission directorate has set state-specific targets in terms of health indicators.
Similar, the incentive for another scheme, Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojna, is ten percent: ten percent more for better performers and ten percent cut for underperformers.
Mukesh Meshram, NRHM mission director of Uttar Pradesh, says, “This move can get additional 25 percent for Uttar Pardesh if we perform well as per their parameters.” Applauding the move, he adds, “We can get additional funds to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore per year to improve rural health facilities.”
NRHM, a key flagship programme of the UPA, aims to provide effective healthcare to rural population.
Mainly implemented in 18 states which have poor health indicators, this scheme earned a bad name when massive corruption was unearthed in UP. The previous government headed by Mayawati was under serious trouble with two cabinet ministers and several bureaucrats facing CBI inquiries. They are alleged to have siphoned off around Rs 10,000 crore. Five people have been killed or died in mysterious circumstances since the CBI started the probe.