Budget 2021

India’s health budget to go up by 137% to over ₹2.2 lakh crore

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 01, 2021

A healthcare worker reacts as she receives a dose of AstraZeneca's vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India, during the coronavirus disease vaccination campaign at a medical centre in Mumbai, January 19   -  REUTERS

Funding will include ₹64,180 crore for newly-announced PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Yojana and ₹35,000 crore for Covid vaccination

The outlay for health will go up by 137 per cent to ₹2,23,846 crore in FY 2021-22 and the funding will include ₹64,180 crore for newly-announced PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Yojana and ₹35,000 crore for Covid vaccination.

Describing health as one of six key pillars of national development, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who presented the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha, said the investment on public health infrastructure has been increased substantially in the budget. Taking a holistic approach, the government is committed to strengthening three areas -- preventive, curative and well-being, she said.

Sitharaman said the government would launch PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Yojana with an outlay of ₹64,180 crore over six years. This will be used for developing capacities for primary, secondary and tertiary care health systems, strengthening existing institutions and creating new institutions for detection and cure of new emerging diseases. This, she said, will be addition to the National Health Mission.

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The funds under the Atmanirbhar Swasth Mission will be used to support 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban wellness centres, setting up integrated public health labs in all districts, over 3,800 block public health units in 11 States and establishing critical care hospital blocks in over 600 district hospitals and 12 central institutions, the Finance Minister said.

Similarly the money will be spent on strengthening National Centre for Disease Control and its five regional units, 20 metropolitan health surveillance units as well as for expansion of national health information portal, she said.

The Minister also said the government would allocate ₹35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccination in the Budget and would be ready to allot more financial resources if needed. She also proposed to roll out pneumococcal vaccine, which is currently limited to only 5 states, across the country, helping the country to avert more than 50,000 child deaths annually.

“The 137 percent increase in healthcare allocation is a welcome step. The outlay for covid vaccination with promise for more shows that the government intends to foot most if not the entire bill for vaccinating every Indian. Addition of more critical care units and biosafety level 3 labs shows a focus on healthcare infrastructure development and R&D,” said Ashwin Sapra, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Published on February 01, 2021

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