More wealth for health as sector gets 13% more funds


The government announced a hike of nearly 13% in the health budget with a proposed outlay of Rs 63,298 crore for the sector as compared to Rs 56,045 crore in the revised estimate (RE) for 2018-19.

Close to 10 lakh patients have availed the Ayushman Bharat scheme, receiving free treatment that may have cost them Rs 3,000 crore, FM Piyush Goyal said while presenting the interim Budget.

To expand health coverage, the FM proposed a hike for the umbrella PMJAY health scheme from Rs 2,400 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 6,400 crore in the next fiscal. Government had launched PMJAY in September 2018 with a goal to provide annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh to over 10 crore families.

The government also proposed an increase in allocation for health and wellness centres — the primary care arm under Ayushman Bharat — and earmarked Rs 950 crore for it. Goyal said that of the country’s 21 AIIMS hospitals, 14 were commissioned by the Modi-led government.