What healthcare can expect from Budget 2019

Patients with their eyes bandaged sit after their cataract surgeries at a hospital in Madurai. | Reinhard Krause/Reuters

With the announcement of the interim budget on Friday, the government announced that it will allocate Rs 6,400 crore for the implementation of Ayushman Bharat in the upcoming financial year. From an allocation of Rs 2,000 crore last year, the government has put aside Rs 6,400 crore for the next financial year.

During the Budget 2019 speech, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said that over 10 lakh patients have benefited from free treatment under Ayushman Bharat that is the world’s largest health protection scheme.”Ayushman Bharat was launched to provide free medical treatment to 50 crore people, and already close to 10 lakh patients have benefitted which would have cost otherwise Rs 3,000 crore through free treatment made available under the scheme,” said Goyal.

The Ayushman Bharat scheme has two parts. It is meant to provide Rs 5 lakhs in health insurance coverage to 10 crore families in India. It is also meant to convert 1.5 lakh sub-centres into ‘health and wellness centres.’

On the insurance front, the government said that about six lakh people have availed services under the scheme through 16,157 hospitals.

Several key and opposition government states have rejected the health-insurance scheme, choosing instead to undertake their own health coverage programmes. Twenty states and union territories had initially signed the agreement to implement the scheme. However, five states – Delhi, Punjab, Telangana, Kerala, and Odisha opted out of the scheme.


India’s Defence Budget is Nearly Five Times the Health Budget

Out of the 27 major items of expenditure, health gets the 14th largest funding this year at Rs 63,538 crore. According to the Wire, the government’s budget shows that India continues to spend approximately five times more on defence than on health care.

Defence accounts for 11% of India’s overall expenditures and health accounts for 2%.

India’s defence allocation this year (2019-2020) is Rs 2,82,733 crore and health allocation is Rs 63,538. The defence budget is 4.8 times the health budget.

Source: PIB India

Compiled by: Deepika Agarwal, Leah Thomas

Sources: The Wire, Business Today