Union Budget 2022: Health Highlights
New Delhi: On the occasion of presenting the Union Budget 2022, the Union Health Minister initiated her speech with a focus of healthcare infrastructure in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. She also referred to the immense improvement in Healthcare in the last two years and expressed her confidence to withstand challenges.Finance Minister Sitharaman pointed out the importance...
New Delhi: On the occasion of presenting the Union Budget 2022, the Union Health Minister initiated her speech with a focus of healthcare infrastructure in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. She also referred to the immense improvement in Healthcare in the last two years and expressed her confidence to withstand challenges.
Finance Minister Sitharaman pointed out the importance of strengthening the health infrastructure especially in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We are in the midst of the Omicron wave, the speed of our vaccination campaign has helped greatly. With the accelerated improvement of health infrastructure in the past two years, we are in a strong position to withstand challenges. I am confident that with Sabka Prayas we will continue our journey of strong growth," said Sitharaman at the beginning of presenting her fourth Union budget.
Smt Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted that the initiatives of the last year's Budget have seen significant progress and have been provided with adequate allocations in this Budget as well. The strengthening of health infrastructure, speedy implementation of the vaccination programme, and the nation-wide resilient response to the current wave of the pandemic, are evident for all, she noted.
This year the Union Budget has put extra focus on the mental health of the people of the country as the Finance Minister made an announcement of launching he National Tele Mental Health Program in her speech. Apart from this, Sitharaman has also announced about rolling out National Digital Health Ecosystem in the budget.
Technology has taken a centre-stage for the Health Sector in the General Budget presented in the Parliament by Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance. Two new digitally underpinned Schemes have been announced which indicate the key role that digital technology is playing in expanding the access of health and medical care across the country.
Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission
While presenting the budget, the Sitharaman has also mentioned about rolling out an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem this year.
Referring to this, she stated, "A new open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will be rolled out. It will comprehensively consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, consent framework, and shall provide universal access to health facilities."
National Tele Mental Health Program:
Mental health and wellbeing gained immense importance as the Finance Minister has made announcements for launching the National Tele Mental Health Program. Acknowledging that the pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages, the Finance Minister said, "The pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages. To better the access to quality mental health counseling and care services, a National Tele Mental Health program will be launched."
She further added, "This will include a network of 23 tele mental health centres of excellence with NIMHANS being the nodal centre." The International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIITB) will provide technology support.
India.com adds that while referring to the progress in the healthcare sector, Sitharaman said, "95 per cent of 112 aspirational districts have made significant progress in health, infracture."
"The income-tax is not an allowable expenditure for computation of business income. This includes tax as well as surcharges. The 'Health and Education Cess' is imposed as an additional surcharge on the taxpayer for funding specific government welfare programs. However, some courts have allowed 'Health and education 'cess' as business expenditure, which is against the legislative intent. To reiterate the legislative intent, I propose to clarify that any surcharge or cess on income and profits is not allowable as business expenditure," Sitharaman added.
M.A in English
Barsha completed her Master's in English from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.