Union Budget 2021 is just around the corner and it is bound to be different from any of its predecessors as the coronavirus factor will play a significant role in its formulation. The pandemic has left a dent in the resources of many states and union territories, and it will be crucial to see how much the upcoming Budget allocates to the healthcare sector.
In the 2020 Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced an allocation of Rs 69,000 crore to the healthcare sector, a jump from the previous year's Rs 62,659.12 crore.
Here are the top 10 worst coronavirus-hit states and where they stand in terms of allocation to the healthcare sector.
Among all the states ravaged by Covid-19 in India, Maharashtra tops the list. The tally of total positive cases in the state has crossed the 20-lakh mark, and the death toll has breached 50,000. The health allocation for the state was Rs 17,288 crore in 2020-21.
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Karnataka is in the second position with the tally crossing the 9-lakh mark and the death toll topping 12,000. In 2020-21, the state government had allocated Rs 10,296 to the Health and Family Welfare Department with a budget provision of 2,846 crore, of which Rs 1,433 crore was for urban healthcare services and Rs 1,413 crore for the rural sector. In the three years prior to 2020, the health budget in the state never crossed 4 per cent of the total Budget allocation.
Kerala sits in the third position with the tally of positive cases crossing the 8-lakh mark and the death toll topping 3,500. Last year, the state government allocated Rs 7,856 to the Health and Family Welfare Department. Of the total health sector budget, urban health services got Rs 2,440 crore.
The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-ruled state is in the fourth position in the list with the tally of positive cases crossing the 8-lakh mark and the death toll crossing 7,000. In its 2020-21 Budget, the state government allocated Rs 11,419.48 crore for Health, Medical and Family Welfare. The health allocation increased by 0.18 per cent as in 2019, the health allocation was Rs 11,399. 23 crore.
Tamil Nadu's tally of Covid-19 positive cases is at a little over 8.30 lakh and the death toll has crossed the 12,300 mark to date. The state government allocated Rs 15,773 crore for health in the last year's budget. It was a significant rise from Rs 12,898 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 12,489 crore in 2018-19.
Delhi has reported more than 6 lakh Covid-19 positive cases to date and 10,000 deaths. Last year, the AAP-led Delhi government allocated Rs 7,704 crore for the health sector in its budget, with the approval of Rs 2,578 crore for upgrading and expanding 16 hospitals.
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The BJP-led state has reported almost 6 lakh positive Covid-19 cases and over 8,500 deaths. In 2020, the state government allocated Rs 26,266 for the Health and Family Welfare Department. This included Rs 3,845 crore for the National Rural Health Mission.
The state has reported around 5.6 lakh positive coronavirus cases to date and a little over 10,000 deaths. Last year, the state government allocated Rs 11,280 crore to the healthcare sector, a slight rise from the Rs 10,565 crore in 2019. Of the total amount allocated in 2020, Rs 1,516 crore was for the National Health Mission.
Odisha is in the ninth position in the list with the tally of positive cases crossing 3 lakh and the death toll close to the 2,000 mark. The state government allocated Rs 7,700 crore for the health sector last year and aimed to transform SCB Hospital in Cuttack into an AIIMS Plus hospital. Of the overall amount, the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana got Rs 1,108 crore and Rs 1,652 crore was provided for the National Health Mission.
Rajasthan has reported around 3.1 lakh crore positive Covid-19 cases till now and over 2,700 deaths. In its last year's budget, the state government allocated Rs 14,533 crore for healthcare, which included Rs 1,439 crore for the National Rural Health Mission. The 'Nirogi Rajasthan' resolution was adopted and the government earmarked Rs 100 crore for the Nirogi Rajasthan Prabandhan Kosh.