Govt moots health audits to check scams: Azad

Bangalore: The Union government is thinking of conducting audits to check health related scams like in National Rural Health Mission, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here today.

"We have to have audits in future to check health-related scams, including NRHM scam," he told reporters on the sidelines of the sixth NIMHANS Convocation here. The audit would cover everything and would be easy to conduct as the ministry had a list of under construction hospitals, he said.

On arresting malnutrition in India, he said it cannot be done by the central government alone. "The state and central governments should rise to the occasion and fix priorities to find a solution," Azad said.

Asked if hospitals across India are in good shape, he said health is a state subject and state governments should provide additional funds, apart from central funds to create infrastructure.

"Every year my ministry gives Rs 15,000 crore to state governments for creating infrastructure at the district and Primary Health Centre levels," Azad said.

On curbing encephalitis outbreak in Gorakhpur and nearby areas in Uttar Pradesh, he said a Group of Ministers headed by him would hold its fourth meeting in a week to solve it. "The meeting will suggest ways where central and state governments must work together to provide clean potable water," he said.

Earlier, he said the Centre would support setting up a centre for advanced research for innovation in mental health and neurosciences.

Government has also decided ICMR would support manpower development and prospects on translational research at NIMHANS. "I am told more than a dozen such project proposals are in an advanced stage within a year`s time," Azad said.

He also said a Bill on recognising NIMHANS as an institute of national importance had been introduced in Parliament in the winter session but could not be taken up for discussion due to disruptions. "However, government hopes to get it passed in the budget session," he said.