#Budget2021: Budget allocation for healthcare sector sees a 137% rise

Ramya Patelkhana
·3-min read


#Budget2021: Budget allocation for healthcare sector sees a 137% rise
#Budget2021: Budget allocation for healthcare sector sees a 137% rise

01 Feb 2021: #Budget2021: Budget allocation for healthcare sector sees a 137% rise

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging in India, healthcare has gained the prime focus in the Union Budget 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.

Presenting the Budget, focusing on "health, hope, and growth," she announced the total Budget outlay for the healthcare sector is Rs. 2.23 lakh crore—a whopping 137% rise from last year.

Take a look at the key announcements.

'Tablet Budget': Health and wellbeing among pillars this Budget was built on

Sitharaman on Monday presented the first paperless Union Budget. Moving away from the tradition of Bahi Khata, she reached the Parliament with a "Made-in-India" tablet that contained the digital copies of the Budget 2021 documents.

Notably, this Budget was built on six key pillars: healthcare and wellbeing, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, agriculture, human capital, innovation and R&D, and minimum government-maximum governance.

Budget Allocation: Healthcare sector got one of the highest Budget allocations

In this Budget, healthcare got one of the highest allocations. Focus on the health sector—which has been at the forefront of India's fight against COVID-19—increased in view of the pandemic.

"Generous allocations" were made for four key areas: Rs. 2.23 lakh crore for healthcare, Rs. 2.87 lakh crore for Jal Jeevan Mission, Rs. 1.18 lakh crore for road transport/highways, and Rs. 1.10 lakh crore for Railways.

New Scheme: A new, Centre-sponsored Rs. 64,000 crore healthcare scheme

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday also announced a new Centre-funded healthcare scheme called Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana with an outlay of Rs. 64,180 crore over the next six years.

The new scheme is aimed at boosting the healthcare infrastructure of the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This healthcare scheme is in addition to the National Health Mission.

Details: Institutions for detection/cure of emerging diseases to be set up

Under the new scheme, 11,000 urban and 17,000 rural health and wellness centers would be set up.

Integrated public health labs would be set up in every district. Moreover, the capacities of healthcare systems would be boosted, institutions for detection/cure of emerging diseases will be set up, critical care hospital blocks will be developed, and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would be strengthened.

Vaccines: Budget outlay of Rs. 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines

Sitharaman announced an outlay of Rs. 35,000 crore for India's COVID-19 vaccination program. She noted India already has two vaccines available and informed that two more are expected soon.

"I have provided Rs. 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines for 2021-22. I commit to provide further funds if required (sic)," she said.

She further announced the rollout of pneumococcal vaccines to prevent over 50,000 deaths annually.

Statement: 'Prioritizing health can help rebuild the economy'

"Prioritizing health can help rebuild the economy... 'PM Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat' scheme with an outlay of Rs. 64,180 crore scheme is a landmark achievement for healthcare sector-primary preventive healthcare," Rishikesh Kumar, Founder-CEO, Xtraliving, told Financial Express.

"It's the right step to a fitter and stronger India. With the current technological advancements, we can be the hub of healthcare solutions for the world," added Kumar.

Fact: 'Investing in health sector, human capital is of utmost importance'

"If 2020 has taught us something, that's the importance of good health. Not just ours but of people in general...The key to good health is strong immunity...Investing in the health sector and human capital is of utmost importance," said Nitesh Salvi, Founder-CEO, Pocket52 told FortuneIndia.

Also see: Union Budget 2021-22: Centre to incentivize incorporation of one-person companies
Union Budget 2021 on February 1: Here are key expectations
Structural reforms in 8 sectors; coal won't be government monopoly
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