Ministry of Health has been allocated ₹ 69,000 crore in the Union Budget of 2020-21, while it had demanded close to double at ₹1.12 lakh crore.
The flagship scheme of ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana,’ (PM-JAY) popularly referred to as Ayushman Bharat has received no boost in Union Budget 2020, with allocation for the scheme remaining the same as last year. The scheme insures poor families for an annual amount of five lakh rupees for availing hospital care. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that PM-JAY will receive ₹6400 crore in financial year of 2020-21 from the central government. In 2019-20 too, the same amount was allocated.
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Sitharaman stated that Tier II and Tier III cities have low number of private hospitals empanelled for PM-JAY and it is a barrier for poor people to gain access to medical care. Among 112 aspirational districts where are no private hospitals empanelled for PM-JAY, there will be Public Private Partnership model for supporting district hospital infrastructure via viability gap funding.
Sitharaman also said that proceeds from taxes on medical devices would be used to strengthen district health infrastructure.
In 2018-19, revised estimates for the PM-JAY stood at ₹2400 crore, and has since seen being increased over two and half times. According to an analysis by Accountability Initiative, release of funds was slow in 2019-20.
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In Gujarat, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala, while states had claimed more amount, the release from the centre was lower than the claims raised by states.