Allocation for health and wellbeing more than doubles to Rs2,23,846 crore

Finance minister Nirmal Sitaraman has proposed a substantial increase in the allocation for health infrastructure and the expenditure on hleath and wellbeing. The proposed annual outlay of Rs2,23,846 crore in the budget estimate for fiscal 2021-22 is an increase of 137 per cent against this year’s BE of Rs94,452 crore.

The finance minister announced a new centrally sponsored scheme, PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, that will be launched with an outlay of about Rs64,180 crore over 6 years. This will develop capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary care health systems, strengthen existing national institutions, and create new institutions, to cater to detection and cure of new and emerging diseases. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission. The main interventions under the scheme are:
·       Support for 17,788 rural and 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centers;
·       Setting up integrated public health labs in all districts and 3,382 block public health units in 11 states;
·       Establishing critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions;
·       Strengthening of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), its 5 regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units;
·       Expansion of the Integrated Health Information Portal to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs;
·       Operationalisation of 17 new public health units and strengthening of 33 existing public health units at points of entry, that is at 32 airports, 11 seaports and 7 land crossings;
·       Setting up of 15 health emergency operation centers and 2 mobile hospitals; and
·       Setting up of a national institution for One Health, a Regional Research Platform for WHO South East Asia Region, 9 Bio-Safety Level III laboratories and 4 regional National Institutes for Virology.
Vaccines
Provision of  Rs35,000 crore made for Covid-19 vaccine in BE 2021-22.
The Pneumococcal Vaccine, a Made in India product, at present limited to only 5 states, will be rolled out across the country aimed at averting 50,000 child deaths annually.
Nutrition
To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome, the government will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the Poshan Abhiyan and launch the Mission Poshan 2.0. Government will adopt an intensified strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 Aspirational Districts.