The much-awaited speech of the year by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley went on the floors Thursday morning, in the Lok Sabha. India’s healthcare sector has emerged one of the key winners in the Union Budget 2018. While addressing the Lok Sabha, on February 1, Arun Jaitley stressed on the importance of healthy citizens in order to maximise India’s true demographic potential.
In a bid to boost health care under the Ayushman Bharat program, FM Jaitley announced, that under the National Health Policy 2017, India’s 1.5 Lakh care centres will provide maternal, child services, assistance on non-communicable, free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
The government has allotted a total of Rs.1,200 crore for this initiative, open to private investment. In a bid to increase the insurance cover for the poor, the government, under the flagship National Health Protection Scheme announced that a sum of upto Rs 5,00,000 will be provided to 10 crore poor families in India per year, which is expected to reach around 50 crore beneficiaries, and will be used for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
"This is the world's largest medical coverage. This is revolutionary.”
Addressing the rampant problem of Tuberculosis that mainly affects the poor and malnourished, he said, “Government allocates Rs 600 crore to provide nutritional support to Tuberculosis patients.” This would translate into Rs 500 a month through their treatment period.
Addressing the problem of medical infrastructure, FM Jaitley said, “24 new medical colleges to be set up. It will ensure at least 1 medical college for every 3 parliamentary constituencies. It will also ensure at least 1 govt medical college in each state”. Moreover, he added that the current hospitals will also be upgraded. Highlighting yet another key goal in securing the health in India, he said, “making open defecation free India is our mission”. He further claimed that schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana will now expand to cover the lower strata of the society.
(with inputs from ANI)