The State government has failed to fully utilise the Central funds for the health sector. Two glaring examples were found in the medical and health department where funds were stopped by the Centre in a trauma care project, and now, the popular Arogyasri project has been hit.
The objective of providing basic life support and emergency care in the golden hour, that is, the first hour of the injury, still remains unachieved even after a lapse of over three to five years after the project was commissioned.
This is after the necessary financial sanctions have been given by the government of India. A report in this regard has been submitted to the State government by a committee of experts. The latest now is that the Union minister for health Ghulam Nabi Azad has refused to fund the Arogyasri scheme in the AP as the scheme was not being implemented at the expected levels.
The Centre envisaged a scheme for developing a network of Trauma Care Centres to provide emergency treatment to accident victims. This was to provide emergency facilities for the hospitals treating accident victims on national highways. The grant from the Centre is to be used for civil works, equipment, manpower, communication systems, training, legal assistance depending on the level of up gradation and level of a particular hospital.
Seventeen hospitals were selected for the upgradation with `125.25 crore and up to August 2011 an amount of `49.08 crore has been released by the centre for this project.
The committee observed that civil works were completed only in seven hospitals and delays ranged from months to years.
In seven out of the 17 hospitals construction was not completed and in some places the land was not identified for the construction, In Anantapur, Srikakulam, Guntur, Adilabad and other areas the trauma care centres were delayed.
As a part of the second installment, the centre released funds to the extent of `76.17 crore towards purchase of equipment and infrastructure to these trauma centres. But the procurement was not done properly. Except Kurnool Government Hospital no other hospital could utilised these funds for the procurement of equipment meant for the trauma care.
The committee observed that the Andhra Pradesh Health and Medical Housing and infrastructure development corporation (APHMHIDC) was ineffective in speedy procurement and supply of equipment to the trauma care centres. Most of the funds remained unspent.