The overall investments in the health sector for 2023–24 stands at Rs 1,805 crore, which is an increase of Rs 109 crore over the revised estimates of 2022–23.
In his budget speech on March 23, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said, “The physical progress of the Tura Medical College is about 40 per cent and we are taking steps to fast-track its construction. The proposal for setting up a medical college in Shillong in PPP mode is being actively considered and we expect to initiate this project in 2023–24.”
He said the government is committed to establishing medical colleges across the state and is comprehensively upgrading the physical infrastructure of all the health facilities, starting from the state headquarters to sub-centres. The Mother and Child Hospital at Jowai and a 100-bedhospital in Mawkyrwat have been established along with the construction of 19 new health facilities at different stages of completion.
The 100-bed integrated health complex at Baljek, West Garo Hills, will be completed by 2024 while the 50-bedTura Maternity and Child Hospitalis expected to be expanded to 100 beds during 2023–24.
Further, the 90-bed cancer wing in Shillong Civil Hospital was made functional this financial year while the radio oncology system will also be set up by the end of 2023 to further augment the state’s capacity in the fight against cancer. The state is also planning to set up a cancer wing at Tura Civil Hospital.
Construction of 78 new sub-centres will be completed by the end of 2023 at a cost of about Rs 43 crore, said Sangma, adding that the government also plans to additionallyset up 31 new urban health centres during the next financial year.
The government is upgrading 20 out of the existing 31 community health centres as first referral units during 2023–24 and training of doctors and medical professionals will be undergone to further strengthen these centres.
As for recruitment of medical professionals, Sangma informed the House that the government has set up a medical recruitment board to fill up vacancies in the health sector.During 2022–23, 400 medical officers were recruited, and that the board will be strengthened as all vacancies in the department will be filled by the end of 2023.
Moreover, the coverage of the Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme has increased from 2 lakh households to around 4.7 lakh households over the last five years and the government targets to extend the coverage to 8.4 lakh households over the next two years.