The health sector has been allocated ₹89,155 crore in the .Union Budget — a hike of around 13 per cent over ₹79,145 crore.
The Budgetary estimates in FY23 was ₹86,200 crore.
A Global Fund Grant under Covid – 19 Response Mechanism has also been set up at ₹495 crore, the Budget documents show; while there was no allocation for the Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package-EAP.
According to Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, the revised estimates for FY22 were lower since the impact of Covid was “not as severe as anticipated”. Moreover, procurement of items Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System preparedness has been re-categorised and included under National Health Mission outlay.
The Global Fund Grant is for providing 100 per cent grant for mobile PSA units, Advance Life Support Ambulances., Pressure Swing Adsorption plants, training causal booster pumps, training courses, booster pump for cylinder refilling procurement of D type Oxygen cylinder and national level training workshop on Oxygen management and administrative capacity building.
The Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package provision is for Covid-19 Emergency Response for procurement of testing kits, equipment, reagents, etc by the ICMR.
“We can now use National Health Mission funds for procuring Covid-19 related items. And allocations for the Health Ministry are up 3.4 per cent over BE of last fiscal. So there is a provision to use funds to tackle Covid-like emergencies,” he said.
Allocation under the National Health Mission was ₹29,085 crore for 2023-24, remained near flat (less than one per cent increase) when compared to Budget Estimate and Revised Estimates of 2022-23 which were at ₹28,859 crore and ₹28,874 crore, respectively.
As per Budget documents, the National Tele Mental Health Programme, which was first announced last year, was allocated ₹133.73 crore — up by ₹12.73 crore or 10.52 per cent from its inaugural ₹121 crore in FY23.
The Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) has been allocated ₹7,200 crore — up by ₹6,412 crore from FY23.
The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PMABHIM) has been allocated ₹4,200 crore (₹4,177 crore).
Also announced in the Budget was setting up of 157 new nursing colleges “in co-location with the existing 157 medical colleges established since 2014”.
“A mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 will be launched. It will entail awareness creation, universal screening of 7 crore people in the age group of 0-40 years in affected tribal areas, and counselling through collaborative efforts of central ministries and state governments,” Mandaviya said.