Budget 2019: Here’s what Healthcare Sector Got

On Friday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 62,659.12 crore outlay in the 2019-2020 fiscal year for the health industry, the highest in the last two financial years.

The health outlay for this financial year saw an increase of around 19 per cent over the 2018-2019 fiscal which stood at Rs 52,800 crore.

The sector’s budget allocation is Rs 60,908.22 crore, with Rs 6,400 crore allocated to Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY), centre’s flagship health insurance scheme.

Rs 249.96 crore was allocated under the National Urban Health Mission for the establishment of Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centers to provide extensive primary care close to the community, while Rs 1,349.97 crore was allocated for the establishment of health and wellness centers under the National Rural Health Mission.

The program will transform nearly 1.5 lakh sub-centers and primary health centers into health and wellness centers by 2022. These centers will be fitted to treat illnesses such as blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and the disease associated with old age.

From the last budget allocation of Rs 30,129.61 crore, the 2019-20 National Health Mission (NHM) allocation was raised to Rs 32,995 crore. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) featuring under the NHM saw an allocation of Rs 156 crore, a decrease from the last fiscal by Rs 1,844 crore.

The government allocated Rs 2,500 crore to its National AIDS and STD Control Programme an increase of Rs 400 crore from last budget’s allocation of Rs 2,100 crore.

From Rs 3,018 crore in the 2018-2019 fiscal, the budgetary allocation for the AIIMS has been increased to Rs 3,599.65 crore.

The National Mental Health Program saw a decrease from Rs 50 crore to Rs 40 crore, while the National Program for Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Prevention and Control budget allocation was lowered to Rs 175 crore from Rs 295 crore.

There was a Rs 200 crore drop in the budget allocation for tertiary care programs, from Rs 750 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 550 crore in this fiscal year.

Rs 64 crore has been allocated to upgrade and strengthen nursing facilities, Rs 5 crore has been allocated to upgrade pharmacy schools and universities, Rs 800 crore has been allocated to upgrade district hospitals and state-run medical colleges.

The govt has assigned Rs 2,000 crore to convert district hospitals into new medical schools, and Rs 1,361 crore to strengthen government medical schools (undergraduate) and central public health institutions, and Rs 20 crore to establish state paramedical science schools in the countries, and to establish para-medical education schools.

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