SKIMS has no separate budget to meet COVID19 expenditures: RTI

File Pic/GK

Kashmir’s premier tertiary care hospital, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) here has not specified separate budget for the treatment of COVID19 patients.

The hospital administration has made the revelation in response to an RTI application which was filed by rights activist and secretary J&K Peoples Forum, MM Shuja.

“No specific budgetary allocation for meeting out COVID19 related expenditure has been allocated till date,” reads the reply to a query over budgetary allocation to the institute to meet COVID19 expenditure, from March this year.

In July this year, amid rise in COVID19 cases in J&K, the State Executive Committee (SEC) had sanctioned Rs 15 crore to boost the health infrastructure in the major hospitals in Srinagar and Jammu. The three hospitals including SKIMS, GMCs Srinagar and Jammu were sanctioned Rs five crore each.

The funds were sanctioned by the Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam-headed SEC under the State Disaster Response Fund for procuring essential labs and equipments for handling the pandemic.

The authorities had said that the funds will be placed with the Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir for expenditure. As per the MHA guidelines, SDRF funds for COVID19 containment efforts in the government hospitals can be utilised for setting up additional testing laboratories, procurement of personal protection equipment for health workers and other related consumables for government hospitals.

The authorities had said that the funding under SDRF would be over and above the funding that was being provided to the health department during the year.