A report prepared under the Modernising Government and
Fiscal Reforms in Kerala Programme (MGP) has proposed
levying health tax from residents by the respective gram
is funded by the Rs 1,800-crore loan that the state government
is availing of from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
out that the proposal will be given a concrete shape only
after it is discussed and approved at various levels by
the concerned authorities, sources say the proposed tax
will be levied to cover the expenses involved in running
objective of levying this tax will be to give financial
autonomy to government hospitals. To make this possible,
the MGP steering committee headed by the state chief secretary
has recommended amending the Panchayat Act.
per the proposal, though the health tax can be levied
from every family, people living below the poverty line
should be exempted from it. The taxes levied under this
programme can also be utilised to create a health fund.
All the expenses related to the appointment of doctors
on temporary or contract basis as well as for the purchase
and maintenance of equipment in government hospitals can
be met from this fund.
committee has proposed finalising the mode of collection
and size of this fund by December 2003 and bringing in
the amendment to the Act by June 2004. Pointing out that
there could be stiff opposition to this proposal from
various quarters, the committee has suggested conducting
an awareness campaign among the public.
drastic reforms in the health sector, the committee has
proposed computerisation of facilities as well as centralisation
of collection and distribution of drugs so as to ensure
quality. A special committee should also be set up for
keeping abreast of the developments taking place in the
health sector, it added.