In the 2019-20 Union Budget on Friday, the government announced allocation of Rs 61,398 crore for the health sector, an increase of more than Rs 8,000 crore from Rs 52,800 last year, with major focus on PM’s ambitious health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat.
According to the Budget outlay, which was presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, the Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB – PMJAY) saw an allocation of Rs 6,400 crore, an increase of Rs 4,000 crore from last year. Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 23, 2018 the scheme aims at providing a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family annually and is aimed at benefiting more than 10 crore poor families across the country.
For the AB Health and Wellness Centres under the National Urban Health Mission, an amount of Rs 250 crore has been allocated while Rs 1,350 crore has been earmarked for setting up Health and Wellness Centres under the National Rural Health Mission. For other health schemes like National AIDS and STD Control Programme funds were increased from Rs 2100 crore to Rs 2,500 crore.
Budget was also increased for autonomous bodies from Rs 6,900 crore to Rs 8,300 crore including All Indian Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) which was allocated Rs 3,599 crore and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh which was given Rs 1,500 crore.
In the Budget, Rs 64 crore has been allocated for upgrading and strengthening nursing services, Rs 5 crore for upgrading pharmacy schools and colleges, Rs 800 crore for upgrading district hospitals and state government medical colleges (post-graduate seats).
A budget of Rs 1,361 crore was also allocated for strengthening government medical colleges (undergraduate seats) and Central government health institutions, Rs 2,000 crore for establishing new medical colleges and Rs 20 crore for setting up State Institutions of Paramedical Sciences in the states and for setting up colleges of para-medical education.
However, budget for some schemes were declined including the National Mental Health Programme which was reduced from Rs 50 crore to Rs 40 crore while the budgetary allocation for the National Programme for prevention and control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio-vascular Disease and Stroke was reduced to Rs 175 crore from Rs 295 crore.
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