The Union Health Ministry has been allocated over Rs. 90,658 crore interim budget for 2024-2025, it witnessed a hike of 12.59 percent over 80,517.62 crore in the budget (revised estimates) for 2023-2024.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the interim budget 2024-2025 in the parliament ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. During her budget speech, the Finance minister declared that the government intends to set up more medical colleges by using operating hospital infrastructure and will form a committee to examine the issues and make relevant recommendations.
The government also asserted that the Ayushman Bharat Insurance scheme which is under the umbrella of healthcare cover will be extended to all the ASHA and Anganwadi workers and helpers.
Out of Rs. 90,658.63 crore, Rs. 87,656.90 crore has been allocated to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, and Rs. 3001.73 has been allocated to the Department of Health Research. The budget allotment for the Ayush Ministry has been hiked from Rs. 3000 crore to Rs. 3,712.49 crore, witnessing a 23.74 percent increase.
The finance minister Sitaraman said that for the prevention of cervical cancer, the government will encourage vaccination for girls in the age group of 9 - 14 years and various schemes for maternal and child healthcare will be brought under one comprehensive programme for synergy in the implementation. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute India, praised the Indian government for this decision to vaccinate the girls in the age group of 9 -14 years to prevent HPV.
The finance minister also expressed that the newly designed U-WIN platform which is for managing immunization and strengthened efforts of the Mission Indradhanush will be rolled out expeditiously throughout the country.
The budget allocation has been increased for the centrally financed schemes from Rs. 77,624.79 crore to Rs. 87,656.90 crore. Among these centrally financed schemes, the budget allocation for the National Health Mission has been raised from Rs. 31,560.87 crore in 2023-2024 to Rs. 31,967 crore in 2024-2025. The budget allocation for Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) has been hiked from Rs. 6,800 crore to Rs. 7,500 crore.
The budget allocation for the National Tele-Mental Health program has been hiked from Rs. 65 crore to Rs. 100 crore. For the National Digital Health Mission, the allocated budget has been increased from Rs. 200 crore to Rs. 250 crore.
The budget allotment for autonomous bodies increased from Rs. 17,250.90 crore in 2023-2024 to Rs. 18,005.65 crore in 2024-2025. Among the autonomous bodies, the budget allocation for AIIMS, New Delhi has been raised from Rs. 4,278 crore to 4,523 crore.
The budget allocation for ICMR has been increased from Rs. 2295.12 crore to Rs. 2432.13 crore.
(Input from various media sources)