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Before union budget’s cutback, State health budgets rose to 21 percent

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New Delhi: An analysis of government data released in October 2015 revealed that state health budgets, taken together– rose 21 percent in the previous year, before the 15 percent ‘cut’ in central funding of national health programs in the union health budget of 2015-16.

However, this increase is not uniform across states, indicating that states, especially smaller ones, unable to raise enough money, are spending less on health and education. Exactly how many states spent to compensate for central spending cutbacks over the past year is unclear because that data will only be available by the end of 2016.

As many as 58 per cent of Indians in rural areas opt for private healthcare (68 percent in urban areas), as we reported, because public health care is inadequate, and healthcare expenses push an additional 39 million people back into poverty every year, a Lancet paper said.

In anticipation of the transfer of money to states – a process called devolution, proposed in December 2014 by the 14th Finance Commission, Delhi had increased payments to state plans during the 2014-15 budget: Transfers rose by 108 percent to Rs 2,59,855 crore ($43 billion) for the state plans, according to reporters.

Many increases to states were substantial, particularly in key areas such as village development, education, health and agriculture. The idea, to quote from a government document, was to “provide greater ownership to state governments in implementation of plans schemes and avoid thin spreading of resources, model of restructured centrally sponsored schemes (CSSs) continues. Higher allocation under State/UT (union territory) plan is reflective of this”.

Between 2014-15 and 2015-16, unconditional transfers of tax revenues – or “untied” funds, to use official jargon– rose 55 percent, from Rs.3.38 lakh crore to Rs. 5.24 lakh crore, according to the budget’s revised estimates released in October 2015 (The budget is prepared using income estimates, typically revised after six months to account for actual tax received).

The union health budget rose six percent, from Rs.29,492.5 crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 31,274 crore in 2014-15, the year the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presented its first budget. The cuts came in the second year of the NDA, 2015-16.

Smaller states can’t find money, therefore, cut health funding.

Although 18 states with poor health indicators, called “high-focus states”,– increased health spending in anticipation of central cutbacks, our analysis reveals how smaller states have cut health spending because they did not have the money.

Jharkhand and Odisha increased their health spending by 80 percent and 73 percent respectively between 2013-14 and 2014-15. Some states saw marginal increases; Tripura and Manipur cut health spending.

Money to create infrastructure has risen in state budgets, from 37.2 percent in 2011-12 to 50 percent in 2014-15, while funds for staff salaries and other administrative expenses fell from 62.2 percent to 49.9 percent.

“The country is close to completing its first budget cycle since the implementation of the FFC (14th Finance Commission) recommendations; any rigorous assessment of the real impact of these recommendations is difficult owing to large gaps in available data,” said a report from the Accountability Initiative, a Delhi-based think-tank. (Prachi Salve, IANS/indiaspends.org)

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Tips That Will Help In Recovery From Surgery

The instructions given are not to torment you and the risks explained are not to scare you

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Doctor performing a surgery. Pixabay
  • Recovery from surgeries can be tough
  • There is a lot of care that one needs after a surgery
  • There are some certain ways of taking care after surgery which are more effective than the others

Have you recently gone through the unpleasant but necessary process of Surgery? Are you one of those went through the painful process of being under the knife multiple times? It is definitely a process that no matter how many times you are explained of the benefits, the possibility of the risks during and after the process dances before your eyes, more than the benefits.

It is important to get involved in one's own healthcare. Samecondition
It is important to get involved in one’s own healthcare. Samecondition

Even though the period starting from the pre-operative to the recovery phase is specified and measurable in most of the cases, it might still seem like an indefinite period of suffering. Even though the patient is supported by the love and care of his dear ones and the healthcare providers, the agony of the process in its entirety is borne and understood by only by the patient.

Of course, the anxiety of the procedure is shared by even those within the medical field, who understand and can anticipate it well in advance. Your pain is your own. And it does not spare anyone.

But like Gautam Buddha quoted, ‘Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional’. One option is to prepare yourself to go through the pain, but it is wiser to follow some simple rules to free yourself from enduring the moments of agony and confusion.

Preoperative Care
Most of us spend every waking moment of the pre-operative period wondering the consequences of the surgery, be it a complicated procedure or a simple one. Every hospital has its own protocol for educating the patients about the procedure. Some of the medical staff explain them personally while some send written instructions. There are some others who are much more cautious and do both. But, not in all cases, the information is imbibed in the patients to the fullest. It is lost in the web of anxiety spun within the patient’s mind.

ALso Read: How weight-loss surgery can avoid death

Even with all the efforts taken by your healthcare provider, if the purpose of the mission is lost, it is unfair to blame anyone. But, there is a way to avoid the situation. If the surgery is a pre-planned procedure, always approach your consultant, well in advance, before the day of the surgery, to clear your mind of some of those doubts that have clouded your ability to stay untroubled. Do not willingly withhold any medical history, known to you, about you. It is for the safety and well-being of the provider as well your own self. Make sure you arrive at the hospital early to complete your paperwork and do not procrastinate in this regard. The hassles of filling up the paperwork can amplify your stress levels. Do not ignore any symptom that you might have before the procedure. In your estimation, it might only be a slight fever or a rash, but for the success of the surgery, it is a huge detrimental factor. Report to your consultant immediately.

You might now be wondering that these might sound good enough for a preplanned, non-emergent surgery, but what about the emergency surgeries. As a member of the medical fraternity, I would suggest you stay calm and trust your provider. If you are still strong enough to converse, do ask and clear yourself of any doubts and hesitations regarding the procedure about to be performed. The community always holds the best interests for their patients.

Pre-operative care is one of the most important things to be taken care of. Pixabay
Pre-operative care is one of the most important things to be taken care of. Pixabay

Postoperative care
Once the procedure is completed, then comes the phase of post-operative recovery. All is well that ends well and that end is not signaled at the end of the surgery but only after the successful sailing through the post-operative period. The period of post-operative care does not end with your stay at the hospital but continues well after your discharge. Although every effort is made by your provider, there might still be pain, once the anesthesia starts to wear off. The reactions of the human body to the medications is not always universal. Every patient requires a certain level of customization of care, due to the very fact that no one person is entirely like another. Their threshold levels do differ. It is hence safer to assume that you might not have the same symptoms as your neighbors.

Also Read: Eating Yogurt May Reduce Risk Of Heart Diseases

Most of the procedures, do require a certain amount of effort to be invested, also by the patients in the post-operative period. It might be as simple as being cent percent complaint to the consumption of medications or performing the stipulated exercises in physiotherapy. Never fail to follow your Doctor’s instructions to the dot. Deviations can well cost you much more than you can recognize. Appropriate and “advised” postoperative care, is the only way you can make a complete and satisfying recovery.

It is important to take care after surgery. Wikimedia Commons
It is important to take care after surgery. Wikimedia Commons

There are some who take multiple consultations. It is alright to double check, cross-check with other consultants, but before the procedure. It is advisable to follow the instructions of your consultant after the procedure, to avoid confusions. Remember, you always receive some degree of tailored care. Your consultant knows more about what has been done. If in doubt, always report back to your consultant.

You have the right to enjoy good health. It does not matter if the right is entitled via your constitution or not. And the right can be made a reality partly by the effort of your healthcare provider and partly by you. The instructions given are not to torment you and the risks explained are not to scare you. If in doubt, always approach your Physician. Never leave aside those nagging doubts “for later”. It is wise to take an informed decision and to accomplish that, the ideal behavior as a patient would be to engage with your Physician in your treatment.