The Healthcare Budget 2018 is ground breaking and will transform the Healthcare industry thus giving it a further boost. The Government has finally focused on what was most essential for Healthcare. Finance Minister Shree Arun Jaitley has announced positive schemes and steps towards improving healthcare in India. Overall this Healthcare budget has provided good reforms in Healthcare.
The Goal of universal health coverage sounds good. Our current Population as per the records is 135 crores. Out of this 25% of the population is Below Poverty Line (approximately 34 crore)
Flagship National Healthcare protection scheme, to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. Up to Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. However, the criteria for the selection of beneficiaries is to be thought of. This will reduce the out of pocket expenses for the beneficiaries. And also will be able to avail the services.
Aayushman Bharat programme: 1.5 lakh centres will be set up to provide health facilities closer to home. Rs. 1,200 crore to be allocated for this programme – Focus on maternal & child health & non communicable diseases. Govt will ask the private enterprises to join the programme as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. This will definitely help the rural population as healthcare facilities will become more accessible
Rs. 600 crore allocated for tuberculosis patients for nutritional support at the rate Rs. 500 per month during the course of their treatment. This is a good initiative to increase the compliance of antibiotic regime by the affected patients. Will help to reduce the disease load of TB.
Finance minister Shree Arun Jaitley announces setting up of one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies, with 24 New government medical colleges also being envisioned. Government also will work on upgrading district hospitals to medical colleges – However, challenges of retaining the doctors and stopping brain drain also needs to be addressed, otherwise in spite of increasing the medical colleges the doctor to patient ratio will remain the same.
This is a small but much needed step of the government towards Health Care.
We are happy that health is given Importance and priority in this financial budget.
Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospital