New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday lauded the 2021-2022 Budget, saying the allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines and commitment to provide further support will help end this pandemic and expedite economic recovery.
He hailed the 'visionary leadership' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 'prudence' of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman 'for taking us closer to Health For All'.
'A remarkable 137 per cent increase, taking budgeted outlay for health and wellbeing to Rs 2,23,846 crore,' he said.
The government on Monday proposed a budget outlay of Rs 2,23,846 crore for health and well being in 2021-2022, an increase of 137 per cent from the previous year, with Rs 35,000 crore earmarked for COVID-19 vaccine in the upcoming fiscal.
In the Union Budget, Rs 71,268.77 crore has been allocated to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as against Rs 65,011.8 crore allocated in 2020-2021. An allocation of Rs 2,663.00 crore has also been made to the Department of Health Research in the 2021-22 Budget.
The Ministry of AYUSH has been allocated Rs 2,970.30 for the next fiscal as against Rs 2,122.08 crore proposed for 2020-2021 fiscal.
'Rs 35,000 crore allocated for COVID-19 vaccines and commitment to provide further support as needed will help end this pandemic and expedite economic recovery as well,' Vardhan said.
The finance minister also announced that a new centrally sponsored scheme, Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, will be launched with an outlay of about 64,180 crore over six years.
Vardhan termed the PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Yojana a 'gift of self-reliant healthy India scheme' and said the interventions under it include establishing critical care hospital blocks, integrated public health labs in all districts and strengthening HWCs.
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 include support for 17,788 rural and 11,024 urban health and wellness centres, 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 five regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units.
Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey termed the budget 'historic' and said it was for the welfare of public. PTI PLB PLB TDS TDS