Budget 2019: Boost for Ayushman Bharat scheme in healthcare

Budget 2019 Boost for Ayushman Bharat scheme in_healthcare

Budget 2019

The Interim Budget 2019 was presented on 1st February by the Minister of Finance, Piyush Goyal. The budget was a celebration for the middle-class Indian as it exempted taxes for people with annual salaries amounting to Rs. 5 lakhs. Similarly, the budget was a positive one for the healthcare industry. Let’s see some of the main aspects.

  • The government in its budget increased its allocation to the healthcare sector by 16.65% from last year, an amount which is totaling to Rs. 96,139. 27 crore. The division is Rs. 90,689.86 crore for the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Rs. 3374.65 crore for the Department of Health Research and Rs. 2254.76 crore for the Ministry of AYUSH.
  • The government’s leading healthcare program – the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) – which is also known as Ayushman Bharat, was allocated Rs. 6400 crore, an increment from Rs. 4000 crore.
  • The budget stated that the 22nd branch of All Indian Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) would be established in the state of Haryana. It also mentioned building a Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence.
  • The healthcare industry in the Northeast regions of India received an allocation of Rs. 6440.52 crore. This was an increment of 6.36% from what was appropriated in the 2018-19 budget. It was also an accession of 56% from the budget estimates which was declared in 2018.
  • It was encouraging for the healthcare sector as Goyal in his budget speech said, “By 2030, we will work towards a distress-free health care and a functional and comprehensive wellness system for all. Such a healthy India built with the participation of women having equal rights and concern for their safety and empowerment,” as reported by DNA.

CEO of Ayushman Bharat, Mr. Indu Bhushan feeling exuberant said, “All of this has pleased us a lot,” reported Business Today. 

“I have always maintained that budget will never be a problem for this scheme as long as we implement it well,” he added.

Numerous industry experts gave their view on the above. The quotes have been gathered from various news reports.

Jitendra Haryan, CEO of Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre said, “An increase in budgetary allocation for Ayushman Bharat scheme is a reflection of government’s unsaid version of ‘Healthcare for All.’ We feel the deployment of national Artificial intelligence portal will also influence adoption of AI in healthcare which will disrupt healthcare," Mumbai Mirror reported.

“On the healthcare front, Ayushman Bharat scheme has been launched in a short time, which is creditable. Effective implementation of the scheme and ensuring a win-win situation for both the healthcare providers and patients will be critical for its success in the future. Setting up of 22nd AIIMS at Haryana is a much-needed step to augment the public sector healthcare facility in the country,” said Gautam Khanna, CEO of PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, as reported by Express Healthcare.

Dr. Alok Roy, Chairman of Medica Hospitals stated, “In terms of healthcare, the citizens of India, will look forward to even better facilities and more infrastructural developments in deeper pockets and hinterlands. Upgrading the national health mechanism should always be a primary agenda for any government to come. We can see significant measures to help poor and marginal population of our country in this interim budget.”

“The ambitious 'Ayushman Bharat' program will provide medical treatment to nearly 50 crore people, realising India’s dream of ‘healthcare for all’. There are a few other good initiatives like National Artificial Intelligence Portal, Food for all, Social Security for the Elderly including creating new AIIMS,” said Farhan Pettiwala, Executive Director & Head Development, India & South Asia, Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospitals.

Founder and CEO of Medikabazaar, Vivek Tiwari said with regards to the budget, “Increased investment in the Ayushman Bharat scheme is a very welcoming move which will result in better healthcare facilities for everyone.”

“We at Medikabazaar are constantly working towards enabling hospitals to procure efficiently via online channels thus helping make healthcare more affordable and accessible for people in India.”

Apart from monetary allocation, plans of establishing a new AIIMS along with the initiative of furthering the cause of AI has been well accepted by the healthcare fraternity. Ayushman Bharat getting a financial boost was clearly the highlight. The groundwork for 2019 has been laid out. Now it’s time to patiently wait, and observe the implementation and results of the strategies formulated by the Indian government.

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