Indian Budget 2018: Two major initiatives in health sector announced 

Two major initiatives in health sector announced

Rs. 1200 Crore allocated for 1.5 Lakh health and wellness Centres

National health protection Scheme to provide Hospitalisation cover to over 10 Crore poor and vulnerable families

The Government today announced two major initiatives in health sector , as part of Ayushman Bharat programme. The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitely while presenting the General Budget 2018-19 in Parliament here today said that this was aimed at making path breaking interventions to address health holistically, in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health promotion.

The initiatives are as follows:-

(i) Health and Wellness Centre:- The National Health Policy, 2017 has envisioned Health and Wellness Centres as the foundation of India’s health system. Under this 1.5 lakh centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people. These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.  These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. The Budget has allocated Rs.1200 crore for this flagship programme. Contribution of private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres is also envisaged.

 

(ii) National Health Protection Scheme:- The second flagship programme under Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.  This will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme.

 

The Finance Minister further said, that these two health sector initiatives under Ayushman Bharat Programme will build a New India 2022 and ensure enhanced productivity, well being and avert wage loss and impoverishment. These Schemes will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.

Now what does this mean for the common man in India:

Rs. 1200 Crore allocated for 1.5 Lakh health and wellness Centre..If we do the maths, for each centre it works out to 80000 Rs. What type of centre would this be?

According to the Government, These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.  These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services.

The question is, who is paying? You and me, tax paying citizens of course! 
 
I hope the Government would provide us the basic requirements for good health, just the basics, instead of wasting tax payers money on expensive “health care” centres.
A rupee spent in prevention is worth millions in treatment.
 
My question to the Government is: Can the Government provide fresh, non polluted air to breathe? Can it provide clean drinking water?
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