Mixed reactions on 2018 budget, while some sectors aren’t happy with the announcement, healthcare is amongst the benefitted one! Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced two initiatives under the Ayushman Bharat Programme in the Union Budget 2018.
Under the Healthcare Programme, a new flagship, National Health protection Scheme, providing health insurance cover an amount of INR 5 Lakh a family per annum. The scheme is estimated to cover10 crore vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. Another in the line is the announcement of health and wellness centers, which will bring healthcare closer and convenient to home. 1.5 lakh centers are to be opened which will provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. A sum of 1200 crore had been allocated for the same.
Finance Minister also focused on the aim of one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies, government has announced plans to set up 24 new colleges and upgrade the existing district hospitals and medical clinics. It has been allocated with INR 600 crore for nutritional support for TB Patients at a sum of INR 500 per month during the treatment.
On the contrary, the sector didn’t get huge allocations, the total budget of the health ministry stands at INR 56,226 crore, which comes to be a 12% increase in comparison to the previous year.
Though the National Health Policy 2017 indicated that health expenditure will be increasing to 2.5% of GDP but, the goal seems far as it is 1.2% of GDP currently. The healthcare budget is mere 2.4% if we compare it with the last year’s revised estimate.
Hoping beneficial developments in future!