Union Budget 2019 India: The health ministry saw a marginal increase in its outlay, in this year's budget, from Rs 52,800 crore last year to Rs 62,659 crore this year with Rs 6,400 crore earmarked for the government’s key healthcare scheme -- Ayushman Bharat.
Budget 2019-20: Even as the health ministry saw a marginal increase in its outlay, in this year’s budget, from Rs 52,800 crore last year to Rs 62,659 crore this year with Rs 6,400 crore earmarked for the government’s key healthcare scheme — Ayushman Bharat, the healthcare ecosystem doesn’t seem to be excited about it. Importantly, healthcare didn’t find enough mention in this year’s budget.
The interim budget had covered the healthcare allocation but it is still a little disappointing because there was no new commitment to healthcare in Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget,” Dr Shankar Narang, COO, Paras Healthcare.
Gramin Healthcare founder Ajoy Khandheria also echoed the lack of commitment to healthcare in the budget. “The commitment to providing primary healthcare has not been met which is slightly disappointing.”
However, the finance minister had also proposed to set up a National Research Foundation (NRF) for providing capital and to coordinating and promoting research in India. The foundation will assimilate the grants for research from various ministries and would focus on “identified thrust areas relevant to our national priorities and towards basic science,” the minister had said.
“The government has pledged to establish a National Research Foundation to boost research in all areas. We hope the government will allocate significant resources through this body towards boosting the field of medical research in India,” said Khandheria.
Moreover, the expectations are also from a New National Education Policy that the government will set up “to transform India’s higher education system to one of the global best education systems.”
“We expect the New Education Policy to focus on creating more doctors and specialists in the country by increasing both MBBS and Post Graduate seats in medicine,” Dr Narang added. The experts nonetheless lauded the fact that nearly 95 per cent of all cities declaring themselves open-defecation free.
“Poor sanitation has been a major cause of the high incidence of communicable diseases such as diarrhoea in India, especially among children. We hope the government will continue its focus on improving sanitation,” Dr Narang said.