New Delhi: All eyes across the country were today glued to the Finance Minister, as a progressed to pronounce the Union Budget 2018.The finance minister began with the budget estimates that the economy is expected to grow at 7.25-7.5% in the coming year, with the service sector seeing a growth rate of 8%. He spoke about the aim of his government to provide good health to its economically poor and its senior citizens.
Speaking about the allocations on health, the Health Minister began by stating
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः is the guiding principle of my government. Only swasthya Bharat can be samrit Bharat. India cannot realize its demographic dividend without its citizens being healthy.
Talking about the major moves in Healthcare, the minister announced two major initiatives as a Part of the Ayushman Bharat Program aimed at pathbreaking interventions to address the health holistically in primary, secondary and tertiary care system covering both prevention and health promotion
Strengthening Health And Wellness Centres
The National Health policy 2017 has envisioned that health and wellness centers as the foundation of India’s Health System. These 1.5 lakh centers will bring healthcare systems closer to the homes of the people. These centers will provide a comprehensive healthcare including non-communicable disease and maternal and child services. These centers will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. The minister committed Rs 1200 crores in this budget for this flagship program. The minister also invited contributions from the private sector through the CSR and the philanthropic institutions in adopting these centers.
Universal Health Coverage
The minister voiced out the concern of impoverishment of poor with the onset of diseases
We are all aware, that lakhs of families in the country have to borrow or sell assets to receive indoor treatment in hospitals. the government is seriously concerned about the impoverishment of the poor and vulnerable families. At present, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna ( RSBY scheme) provides an annual coverage of Rs 30,000 to poor families. Several state governments have also implemented and supplemented health protection schemes by providing varying coverages. My government has decided to now take healthcare protection to a new aspirational level.
Addressing at exactly the point, where the shoe is pinching in Indian Healthcare, the Minister has announced in what is the world’s largest government-funded healthcare program announcing a health coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. The target of the program will be 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries
We are now launching a flagship National Health Protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable, families. This is approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. The scheme will provide them upto Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be world’s largest government-funded healthcare program. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this program.
The Minister added that this policy which is currently for the 50 crore beneficiaries will be further expanded based on the success of this experiment and would create lakhs of jobs particularly for women
These two far-reaching initiatives under Ayushman Bharat Program will build a new India 2022 and ensure enhance productivity, well being against wage loss and impoverishment. These schemes will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women. The government is steadily but surely progressing towards a goal of Universal health coverage.
One of the major hurdles in Indian Healthcare stands as the shortage of qualified medical professionals to address the need of the growing population. The minister announced 24 new government medical colleges to address this issue.
In order to further enhance the accessibility of quality medical education and healthcare, we will be setting up 24 government medical colleges and hospitals by upgrading district hospitals in the country. This would ensure at least one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies and atleast one government medical college in each state of the country.
This year’s budget saw a special mention of the largest infectious killer in the country and the government’s resolve to provide adequate nourishment to those struck by the disease
Tuberculosis claims more lives every year than any other infectious disease. It affects mainly poor and malnourished people. My government has therefore decided to allocate Rs 600 crores to provide nutritional support to all TB patients at the rate of Rs 500 per month for the duration of their treatment.
The government estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health and education and social protection for the year 2018-19 at 1.38 lakh crore against an estimated expenditure of Rs 1.22 lakh crore in the PE of 2017-18. The expenditure is likely to go up by Rs 15000 crore added the minister