Union Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal announced a Rs 61,398 crore budgetary allocation for the health sector for the 2019-2020 fiscal, with Rs 6400 crore earmarked for the center’s ambitious AB-PMJAY health insurance scheme. The health outlay for the upcoming financial year is the highest in the last two financial years and a 16 percent increase over the 2018-2019 allocation which was Rs 52,800 crore. The Union Budget for 2019-20 saw an allocation of Rs 6400 crore for the center’s Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 23. Rs 250 crore has been allocated for setting up Ayushman Bharat health and wellness centers under the National Urban Health Mission to provide comprehensive and quality primary care close to the community. Rs 1350.01 crore has been earmarked for setting up health and wellness centers under the National Rural Health Mission. Under the program, nearly 1.5 lakh sub-centers and primary health centers will be transformed as health and wellness centers by 2022.
The allocation for the National Health Mission (NHM) for 2019-20 was raised to Rs 31,745 crore from the last budget’s allocation of Rs 30,129.61 crore. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) which features under the NHM saw an allocation of Rs 156 crore, a decline of Rs 1844 crore. The government allocated Rs 2500 crore to its National AIDS and STD Control Program an increase of Rs 400 crore from last budget’s allocation of Rs 2100 crore. The budgetary allocation for the AIIMS has been increased to Rs 3599.65 crore from Rs 3018 crore in the 2018-2019 fiscal. The National Mental Health Program saw a decline from Rs 50 crore to Rs 40 crore while the budgetary allocation for the National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke was reduced to Rs 175 crore from Rs 295 crore. The government, in the interim budget, has allocated Rs 64 crore for upgrading and strengthening nursing services, Rs 5 crore for upgrading pharmacy schools and colleges, Rs 800 crore for upgrading district hospitals and state government medical colleges (post-graduate seats). It allocated Rs 1361 crore for strengthening government medical colleges (undergraduate seats) and central government health institutions, Rs 2000 crore for establishing new medical colleges, and Rs 20 crore for setting up state institutions of paramedical sciences in the states and for setting up colleges of para-medical education.