NEW DELHI: The Centre has sanctioned Rs 1,826 crore to Safdarjung Hospital in FY 2023-24, 13% less than its demand of Rs 2,100 crore, according to officials.
Out of this, Rs 43 crore has been allocated to high-tech equipment like linear accelerator (LINAC) for treatment of cancer patients. The remaining funds will be spent on sanctioned infrastructural projects, including a new lecture theatre for undergraduates, an auditorium and a student hostel. Some ongoing projects, like its sports injury centre and nursing residential complex, which are being constructed in Dwarka, will also get funds in the coming fiscal.
Last year, the Union government had allocated a budget of Rs 1,700 crore while in 2021, the hospital had received Rs 1,515 crore.
Administrative officials said there was a 7% annual increase in dearness and other allowances of employees. At present, there are 6,000 regular and 4,500 outsourced employees at the hospital. Besides, charges for professional services had also increased, enhancing the budget from the last fiscal. While operation and maintenance costs increased by at least 10% every year, material and supplies costs also went up, said officials.
Hi-tech radiotherapy device soon
The hospital is set to install LINAC, a new state-of-the-art machine for radiotherapy of cancer patients.
“Currently, we have a device but that is on the verge of expiring. Therefore, we will procure LINAC, which is a high-end technical device,” said Dr BL Sherwal, hospital medical superintendent. The cost of the device is about Rs 25 crore, he added.
LINAC generates high-energy x-rays and electrons to the region of the patient’s tumour. The treatment can be designed in such a way that the beams destroy the cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue.
At present, Safdarjung Hospital has three cobalt-60 machines for radiotherapy. Two of these machines have become non-functional and only one is being used to treat cancer patients.
The hospital administration said a tender will soon be floated for procuring LINAC. It has already received approval from the Union health ministry and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.