Amritsar, February 7
Health institutions in the district are facing difficulty in managing their day-to-day affairs after the state government asked all the health facilities to deposit the user charges collected by them to the treasury on a regular basis.
Everything would be on record
Earlier, the money spent through the user charges was not reflected in the budget being spent on health. With the new system every penny spent would be on record.Rs Dr Charanjit Singh, Civil Surgeon
The user charges are the fees collected by the hospitals for the services rendered to the patients, such as the OPD, surgeries, diagnosis and the IPD. Earlier, hospital administrators were allowed to use the money thus collected for running the daily affairs of the institute.
“It meant that if a hospital needed X-ray rolls, certain kinds of medicine or even soap for the toilets, the in-charge had the financial power to use the money. Now with the government asking the hospitals to deposit the money, the financial powers of the administrators have been reduced,” said an official.
Notably, the Health Department employees have already started complaining about the new system started by the government which had also been tried by past governments.
“If there is a need for check and balances, the government could come up with a system that does not affect daily affairs. A perception is being made that health officials are corrupt and the government is trying to rein them in,” rued another employee, while admitting that a section of officials could be misusing the money but the others were using it for the welfare of the public.
When contacted, Civil Surgeon Dr Charanjit Singh said, “Earlier, the money spent through the user charges was not reflected in the budget being spent on health. With the new system every penny spent would be on record.” He said that the money collected as user charges would again be given to the respective institutions in the form of a grants from the government. He added that the fears of the employees are unfounded as the system is still evolving and that would it would be refined further. He stated that all the health facilities in the district are getting enough funds for their daily needs.