#Budget2020: Rs. 69,000 crore allocated for the health secto
To widen scope of the government’s flagship scheme, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the Budget on Saturday proposed to set up a viability gap funding to allow empanelment of hospitals through a public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

Presenting the Budget for 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an allocation of Rs. 69,000 crore for the health sector, which includes Rs. 6,400 Crore for Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).

Further, a health cess at the rate of 5% has been proposed to be imposed on the import of medical devices. This cess shall be a duty of Customs. The proceeds of health cess shall also be used for financing the health infrastructure and services.

Billed as the world’s largest health assurance scheme, AB-PMJAY, dubbed Modicare, aims to provide free health insurance of Rs.5 lakh per family to nearly 40% of the country's population — more than 100 million poor and vulnerable families.

The government also proposed to expand Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme to all districts offering 2,000 medicines and 300 surgical items by 2024.

In a bid to address the shortage of qualified medical doctors, both general practitioners and specialists, the government also proposed to attach a medical college to an existing district hospital under PPP mode.

Reacting to the health budget allocations, Harsh Vardhan, minister of health and family welfare said, The budget estimates for the Department for Health and Family Welfare show an appreciable increase of 3.75%, while there has been a 10% hike in the allocation for the Department for Health Research. The focus in Budget 2020 is on medical infrastructure, human resources in the health sector, and holistic health and wellness. In addition, 6,500 projects under National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) include projects of healthcare for all. Also, 'TB Harega Desh Jeetega' campaign has received a boost in the Budget. This shall strengthen our resolve and commitment to end tuberculosis by 2025, he said.

Current health infrastructure in India paints a dismal picture of healthcare delivery system in the country. Health Infrastructure has been described as the basic support for the delivery of public health activities. According to the National Health Profile 2018, there are 23,582 government hospitals having 710,761 beds in the country. 19,810 hospitals are in rural area with 279,588 beds and 3,772 hospitals are in urban area with 431,173 beds.

'The budgets allocated for health and family welfare, Rs. 65,012 crores this year, is a mere 3.8% increase over the previous budget. This is insufficient considering the current rate of inflation (7.3% as per the Economic Survey 2019-20),' said Muttreja.

Source: https://pxmd.co/5upRP
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