BUDGET 2018 – A BIG PUSH TO HEALTHCARE
The Government has announced the budget 2018 under which major Healthcare focused points are as follows:
- Rs 50,000 additional benefit to senior citizens for investment in mediclaim.
- Allocation of Rs. 56,619 crore for SC welfare and Rs. 39,135 crore
for ST welfare.
- Creation of health and wellness centres, which will “bring healthcare closer to home”. These centres, 1.5 lakh in number, will provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. A sum of Rs. 1200 crore had been allocated for this.
- The Centre is expected to provide a major push to development in seven states in the eastern part of India when it presents the budget for 2018-19 as it focusses on transforming 200 districts as part of its ‘New India’ strategy.
INDIAN HEALTHCARE – A NEW ERA OF INDICARE
- Total 187 projects sanctioned under the Namami Gange programme.
- 24 new government medical colleges and hospitals to be set up by upgrading existing district hospitals.
- Rs 600 crore for nutritional support to TB patients.
- One medical college per every three constituency.
- Rs 1200 crore for the flagship programme in health wellness centres.
- Launching a flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, benefiting approx. 50 crore. Providing Rs 5 lakh per family per year for medical reimbursement, under NationalHealth Protection Scheme.
“National Health Protection world’s largest health protection scheme”
- NITI Aayog will established a national programme to direct Government efforts in the area of Artificial intelligence towards national development: FM
Ministry /Department /Scheme Name 2017-2018 2018-2019
- Health & Family Welfare 47,353 52,800
- CSS+CS in Health 34,657 39,199
- PMSSY 3,975 3,825
- National AIDS an STD Control programme 2,000 2,100
- National Rural Health Mission 21,189 24,280
- National Urban Health Mission 752 875
- Human Resource for Health and Medical Education 4,025 4,225
- Tertiary Care Programme 725 750
- RSBY 1,000 2,000
- AYUSH 1,429 1,626
- CSS + CS 509 576
- NAM 441 504
- Health Research 1,500 1,800
- Healthcare stocks trading higher after the government said it proposed to cover 100 million families via healthcare protection scheme. Apollo Hospital Ltd rose 4.1%, Thyrocare Technologies Ltd 2.6%, Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd rose 3%.
FLIP SIDE OF THE HEALTHCARE BUDGET – 2018
- The Government has proposed to increase the health and education cess to 4% which will compel the citizens to buy premium insurance due to tax exemption.
- Implementation of these Healthcare schemes would be a challenging issue which will take 6 – 7 months of time.
- It was expected that specific impetus or incentives would be given to research and development to promote innovation in the form of weighted deduction; capital linked subsidy schemes to upgrade MSME units; incentives for bulk drugs, patents, clinical trials etc. These demands remained largely unaddressed, giving no specific reason to cheer for the sector as a whole in 2018–19.”