The proposed investment of Rs 64,200 crore over six years under the PM AtmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana for the development of primary, secondary, and tertiary care health systems is encouraging and would help to improve the overall healthcare infrastructure in the country. This move would also partially benefit large hospital/diagnostic chains in India over the medium term.
Excluding COVID vaccinations and water and sanitation expenditure, the remaining healthcare budget has seen a modest increase of 11 per cent (vs. 137 per cent for the overall healthcare budget). The budgeted expenditure for the Ayushman Bharat Scheme has been kept unchanged at Rs 6400 crore. The increase in healthcare budget from Rs 94,500 crore to Rs 2.23 lakh crore is driven in large part by budgetary allocations for Covid vaccinations (Rs 35,000 crore, accounting for 27 per cent of the increase) and an increase in water and sanitation costs (Rs 74,500 crore, accounting for 58 per cent of the increase).