Govt proposes Rs 8,000 crore on Ayushman Bharat

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal addresses a press conference after the presentation of interim Budget session 2019-20 at Lok Sabha, in New Delhi. PTI photo

The Centre on Friday announced the allocation of Rs 8,000 crore to Ayushman Bharat— Modi government's flagship healthcare programme.

An allocation of Rs 6,400 crore has been made for the main component of Ayushman Bharat under which 10.74 crore poor families are to receive a medical insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh.

Another Rs 1,600 crore has been earmarked for setting up health and wellness centres.

“We launched the world’s largest healthcare programme to provide medical treatment to nearly 50-crore people. Already close to 10-lakh patients have benefited from medical treatment, which would have cost them Rs 3,000 crore, through free treatment made available under the scheme,” Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Lok Sabha while presenting the budget.

But the ministry is way behind its target of establishing 15,000 health and wellness centres.

Till January 23, there were 6,193 functional health and wellness centres and another 4,000 such centres are in existence though they are not fully functional.

But the number is still way below the target.

In the budget, Goyal proposed to give Rs 1,349.97 crore for setting up these centres in villages and Rs 199.96 crore for urban areas. The total allocation is Rs 400 crore more than last year.

He also marginally increased the allocation for Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY) under which new tertiary care medical institutes in the line of All India Institute of Medical Sciences are being established.

The scheme is also used to spruce up the infrastructure in government medical colleges.

The PMSSY allocation, for now, is Rs 4,000 crore— marginal increase from last year's allocation of Rs 3,825 crore. Goyal also announced setting up of another AIIMS at Haryana.

There are 21 AIIMS operating or being established in the country presently, out of which 14 were announced since 2014.

The AIIMS at Haryana would be the 22nd one.

None of the AIIMS barring the first one established in Delhi in 1956, are ready.

The first six of the 21 at Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh still don't have faculty, staff and infrastructure nearly two decades after they were announced.

In the budget, the allocation for health has been hiked by close to 13% in 2019-20 at Rs 61,398 crore as compared to 2018-19 revised estimates of Rs 54,302 crore.

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Govt proposes Rs 8,000 crore on Ayushman Bharat

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