India’s main public health programmes, aimed at millions of rural poor, have been in disarray for months because the government changed the way that over $1.3 billion in federal funds were distributed, according to data and letters seen by Reuters.In a bid last year to give India’s states more power, the federal health ministry started sending funds for public health programmes to state treasuries, instead of direct transfers to its regional arms. But poorly-run regional bureaucracies were unable to cope and both the flagship National Health Mission (NHM) and India’s AIDS prevention programmes suffered – thousands of health workers were not paid for months and the construction of clinics in rural areas was delayed

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