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Union Budget 2021: Healthcare Spending Gets Big Boost To Bridge Rural-Urban Divide

Union Budget 2021: Healthcare Spending Gets Big Boost To Bridge Rural-Urban Divide

The government will develop capacity of primary, secondary and tertiary care health institutions over six years

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a total allocation of INR 2.23 Lakh Cr for healthcare and wellness initiatives in the country during the Union Budget 2021-22. The plan includes a pan-India healthcare portal for digital health management, as well as a Mission Poshan 2.0 for nutrition and diet programmes in rural districts.

The budget allocation increased by 137% over the previous year. The FM also announced Aatmanirbhar Health Yojana with outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over 6 years. She announced operationalisation of health units at 32 airports, 11 seaports and 7 land crossings.

The budget also alloacted INR 35,000 Cr fro Covid-19 vaccines. Talking about India’s fight against COVID-19, Sitharaman said the country has two vaccines available and has begun safeguarding not only its citizens but also those from hundreds of other countries, adding that two more vaccines are expected soon.

“Expansion of the integrated health information portal to all states and union territories to connect all public health labs,” said Sitharaman.

Further, the FM announced a centrally-sponsored PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with an allocation of INR  64,180 Cr over six years to develop capacity of primary, secondary and tertiary care health institutions. This will be in addition to the National Digital Health Mission.

It will include support for 17K rural and 11K urban health and wellness centres. The government will establish critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions to boost inclusion in healthcare services. The National Centre for Disease Control will also be strenghtened across 5 regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units. The FM announced plans for setting up health labs in all districts and 3382 public block units in 11 states. The Union Budget further announced plans for setting up a regional WHO centre office, 9 bio-safety level 3 laboratories, 4 regional National Institute of Virology

The pneumococcal vaccines, a Made in India product, is presently limited to just five states, it will be rolled out across the country, the FM noted, adding it will avert over 50,000 deaths annually in the country. The pneumococcal vaccine is effective against potentially fatal pneumococcal infections like pneumonia, septicaemia and meningitis.

She also  announced outlay of INR 2.87 lakh crore for Jal Jeevan Mission to focus on providing access to clean water. The FM announced an allocation of INR  1,41,678 for upgrading legacy dump sites across the country. 

According to the recent report of DataLabs By Inc42+ on “Healthtech Landscape Post Covid-19”, the home healthcare market is estimated to reach around $837 Mn by 2025. The market will witness a growth of CAGR 20.1% for next five years.

The FM outlined the six pillars on which the Aatmanirbhar sector of Budget 2021 rested – health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational india, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D.

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