Millennium Post

Budget: Rs 69,000 cr outlay for health sector

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced an outlay of about Rs 69,000 crore for the health sector in the 2020-2021 fiscal, with Rs 6,400 crore earmarked for the Centre's flagship health insurance scheme Prime Minister Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).

While presenting the Union budget 2020-21 in Parliament, Sitharaman said that presently, under PMJAY there are more than 20,000 empanelled hospitals. In the Union budget, Rs 65,011.8 crore has been allocated to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, up from Rs 62,659.12 crore in 2019-20.

An allocation of Rs 2,100 crore has been made to the Department of Health Research in the 2020-21 Budget.

The Ministry of AYUSH has been allocated Rs 2,122.08 crore for the next fiscal.

"We need more in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities for poorer people under this PMJAY scheme. It is proposed to set up Viability Gap funding window for setting up hospitals in the PPP (private-public-partnership) mode. In the first phase, those aspirational districts will be covered, where presently there are no Ayushman empanelled hospitals," Sitharaman said.

"This would also provide large scale employment opportunities to youth. Proceeds from taxes on medical devices would be used to support this vital health infrastructure," she said. Sitharaman said health authorities and the medical fraternity can target diseases with an appropriately designed preventive regime using machine learning and artificial intelligence in the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

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