Presenting the Union Budget in the Parliament for FY 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman prioritized the role of healthcare and outlined how India is well-poised to truly be the land of promise and hope. Taking a holistic approach to Health, she focussed on strengthening three areas: Preventive, Curative, and Wellbeing. To provide a fillip to the healthcare sector & to attain the highest possible level of health and well-being for all, she made a number of key announcements. Below are the key highlights of this year’s budget:
- The Budget outlay for Health and Wellbeing is Rs. 2,23,846 crores in BE 2021-22 as against this year’s BE of Rs. 94,452 crores, registering an increase of 137%
- Launch of a new centrally sponsored scheme, PM AtmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with an outlay of about Rs. 64,180 crores over 6 years. This scheme will aim to develop capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary care Health Systems, strengthen existing national institutions, and create new institutions to cater to detection and cure of new and emerging diseases. The aforementioned scheme will be in addition to the National Health Mission and is intended to provide support to 17,788 rural and 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centers.
- Some of the proposed interventions under the scheme are:
- Setting up of integrated public health labs in all districts and 3382 block public health units in 11 states
- Establish critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions
- Strengthen the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), its 5 regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units
- Expand the integrated health information portal to all states/UTs to connect all public health labs for enhanced accessibility.
- Operationalize 17 new public health units and strengthen 33 existing public health units at points of entry viz. at 32 airports, 11 seaports and 7 land crossings
- Set up 15 health emergency operation centers and 2 mobile hospitals
- Set up a national institution for 'One Health', a regional research platform for WHO South East Asia Region, 9 bio-safety level III laboratories, and 4 regional National Institutes for Virology.
Vaccine Development and Research
- Provision of Rs. 35,000 crores for Covid-19 vaccine in BE 2021-22
- Roll-out of two or more COVID-19 vaccines
- Roll-out of the Pneumococcal Vaccine, a Made in India product, across the country, which was earlier restricted to 5 states. This initiative is set to avert more than 50,000 child deaths annually
- To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome, FM announced the launch of Mission Poshan 2.0, merging the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the Poshan Abhiyan
- Adoption of an intensified strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 Aspirational Districts.
Swachch Bharat, Swasth Bharat
- Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 to be implemented with a total financial outlay of Rs. 1,41,678 crores over a period of 5 years from 2021-2026
- Launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) with an outlay of Rs. 2,87,000 crores to provide universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crores household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities
Trained and Skilled Manpower
To bring about transparency, efficiency and governance reforms in the nursing profession, FM announced the introduction of the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill.
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