9 months on, government yet to clear guidelines for heath investment policy

Srinagar: The J&K government has delayed the start of ‘Health Investment Policy’ as the guidelines for the programme are yet to be finalised.
According to official sources, the Health department has submitted the draft health investment policy to the finance department in April for clearance and to work out the financial intricacies for its smooth implementation.
However, the department is yet to devise the framework of the programme leading to delay in its implementation.
“Health department has already approved the policy and submitted the file to the finance department for final nod. But, they are taking time to clear it which is taking toll on the prestigious programme,” a senior health official told Kashmir Reader.
The Policy was approved in the former Governor’s administration in March for providing 30 percent subsidy to Health investors on capital investment for setting up multi-speciality and super-speciality hospitals, medical, nursing and paramedical colleges. Besides interest, it would have entailed them to avail subsidy at five percent per annum on term loan subject to a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh per year for a period of five years from the date of operationalisation of the project and subsidised power tariff rates as applicable to industrial units.
As per the policy document, those interested in setting up medical colleges were to be provided land up to 25 acres at a token premium of Rs 1 per kanal outside urban Municipal limits. The required capital investment was Rs 200 crore to be made within a period of five years.
“Single-window clearance mechanism would also be adopted for processing the project proposals with final approval to be accorded by Apex Level Project Clearance Committee (ALPCC),” it said.
Under the Policy, the government may declare a well defined geographical area as ‘Medical City’ for having potential and being conducive for development and promoting medical tourism.
Official data suggest that 80 percent of healthcare facilities are being provided by the government. This meant that private that private healthcare sector has not been able to develop its infrastructure like other places.
But the pending clearance has stuck the project which would have encouraged private investors in healthcare.
Special secretary Finance department, Shamim Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that he is not aware of the file as it is an old case.
“But, I think we must have returned it to the health department as we don’t retain files for such a long time,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.