New Delhi: Every year, the budget brings new and key developments for every sector. This year, right in the beginning of the speech, the Finance minister announced the nine pillars of the economy one of which was obviously identified to be healthcare. Keeping a limited, yet focused approach, this year’s budget brought forward a number of key developments for the health sector. These are as follows.
Allocation of budget.
Total Allocation for social sector including education and health care combined has been declared as Rs 1,51,581 crore.
New Health Protection Scheme
The Finance Minister expressed concern that a serious illness of family member(s) causes severe stress on the financial condition of poor and economically weak families, shaking the foundation of their economic security. In order to help such families, the Government will launch a new health protection scheme which will provide health cover up-to rupees one lakh per family, the Finance Minister said. For Senior citizens of the age 60 years and above belonging to this category, an additional top-up package up to Rs.30,000 will be provided.
3000 NEW Jan Aushadhi Stores
The government will set up 3,000 new generic medicine stores across the country to tackle the shortage of drugs in rural areas, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.
“For the better availability of generic medicines in the country, especially in the rural areas, the government has decided to open 3,000 new generic medicines stores,” said Jaitley, presenting the budget for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha.
National Dialysis Programme
The FM also announced the launch of a National Dialysis Programme to address the high costs involved in the renal dialysis processes under a PPP mode.
Under the programme every district hospital will have the facilities of renal dialysis, so that people do not have to travel to the expensive hospitals of metro cities, he said.At least 2,000 new dialysis centres will be started in the country under the programme.
Elaborating on the National Dialysis Services programme Mr. Jaitley said about 2.2 lakh new patients of’ End Stage Renal Disease’ got added in India’s sick list every year resulting in additional demand for 3.4 Crore dialysis sessions. The Minister said with only 4,950 dialysis centres in the country mainly in the private sector and mostly in major towns, the demand could not be adequately met.
The immediate response that Medical Dialogues received on the budget was that of a welcome from one of the pioneers of the medical fraternity, Dr Naresh Trehan. Speaking to Medical Dialogues, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and MD, Medanta Medicity said, ” As far as health is concerned, it’s a great move forward to insure every family for one lakh, which imminently gives them the security that they can access healthcare that was the idea how to create universal access. For elderly, its 1.30 lakh which is even better. Also along with that, the announcement of PPP board there will be many dialysis centres established closer to the villages, that will help a lot because that has been a big problem for people to travel across to require dialysis twice or thrice a week and to travel long distance is devastating for family and the patient, so that’s a good sensitive move and the third thing is providing 3000 fare price to medical shops also very good thing. ”
“Overall I think, health sector has got what was much needed in terms of the people who were under the burden of healthcare will get relief which was surely needed and what we were pushing for the last couple of years. So overall, its real thumbs up to the budget and I am happy and proud that they have done this way. The much needed ACCHE DIN effect is beginning to show.” he elaborated.