Budget 2024: Finance Minister Sitharaman tabled the interim budget 2024 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. During her budget speech, Sitharaman announced that healthcare cover under the Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme will be extended to all ASHA and anganwadi workers and helpers.
Sitharaman also announced that the government will encourage vaccination for girls in the 9-14 year age group for the prevention of cervical cancer. The Health Ministry has been allocated Rs 90,658.63 crore in the interim Budget for 2024-2025.
Out of Rs 90,658.63 crore, Rs 87,656.90 crore has been allocated to the Department of Health and Family Welfare while Rs 3001.73 crore to the Department of Health Research. The Budget allocation for the AYUSH ministry has been hiked from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 3,712.49 crore, recording a 23.74 per cent increase.
Dr. Saarthak Bakshi, Healthcare Entrepreneur and CEO, RiSAA IVF shares his view,
“The 2024 union budget has several welcome provisions for the health sector that will strengthen healthcare access and quality across the country. Government decided more medical colleges for the ambitious youth to get qualified as doctors. According to the budget new nursing colleges will be established, co-located with 157 recently established medical college. A great mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 and it will involve screening of seven crore people.
But as a health entrepreneur, I was expecting special budget for new hospitals because it’s needed for rural areas, as per data government hospitals are not performing well due to heavy rush, so as expected there should be more government hospitals in one district.
The enhanced cover under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana will be extended to all ASHA and Anganwadi workers and helpers. Healthcare industry is seeking for an increased allocation in the budget. Increased participation of private sector in the Ayushman Bharat Scheme through PPP model is to make affordable healthcare accessible for 500 million people. Overall, this budget is 50-50 for the health sector.”