NEW DELHI: Ayushman Bharat was the highlight of the Union budget last year, but this year “health” was barely mentioned in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech. Overall allocation for the sector, however, has gone up by about 18 per cent and is nearly Rs 62,660 crore for 2019-20.
From the total outlay, Rs 6,400 crore has been earmarked for the Narendra Modi government’s flagship health insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
The scheme, launched in September last year, aims at providing an annual health insurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to over 10.74 crore vulnerable families or approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. Rs 249.96 crore has been allocated for the other component of Ayushman Bharat — Health and Wellness Centres under the National Urban Health Mission to provide comprehensive primary care close to the community, while Rs 1,349.97 crore has been earmarked for setting up health and wellness centres under the National Rural Health Mission.
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Under the programme, nearly 1.5 lakh sub-centres and primary health centres are being transformed as health and wellness centres by 2022. These centres will be equipped to provide treatment for diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and old age-related illness.
The allocation for the National Health Mission for 2019-20 has been raised to Rs 32,995 crore from the last allocation of Rs 30,129.61 crore. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, which features under the NHM, saw an allocation of Rs 156 crore, a decline of Rs 1,844 crore from the last fiscal.
The Centre allocated Rs 2,500 crore to its National AIDS and sexually transmitted disease control programme an increase of Rs 400 crore from the last budget’s allocation of Rs 2,100 crore.
Swasthya Bima Yojana allocation declines
The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, under the NHM, saw an allocation of Rs 156 crore, a decline of Rs 1,844 crore from the last fiscal. The Centre allocated Rs 2,500 crore to its National AIDS and sexually transmitted disease control programme an increase of Rs 400 crore from the last budget’s allocation of Rs 2,100 crore.