Eastern Times , New Delhi : The Union Budget 2021-22 presented in Parliament on Monday by the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman clearly reflected the deep imprint the global pandemic of COVID-19 has left on the country’s public health landscape.
Starting her Budget speech with narration of the country’s fight against COVID-19, and the various timely, graded and proactive measures taken by the Union Government, the Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister strongly positioned Health & Wellbeing as one of the 6 crucial pillars of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. Healthy India, along with other sectors “will further strengthen the sankalp of Nation First”, she stated while presenting the Budget.
Health & Wellbeing have formed the topmost priority of the Union Government during the ongoing COVID health crisis. It is the foremost of the six crucial pillars that form foundation of the Union Budget.
Underscoring the significant importance of health and wellbeing for the growth and development of the country, the Budget allocation for the same has been increased to Rs 2,23,846 crore in BE 2021-22 as against this year’s BE of Rs 94,452 crore. This manifests into a sharp increase of 137 percentage.
Additionally, the Budget has brought a holistic approach to health as it has focused on strengthening three areas: Preventive, Curative, and Wellbeing.
The Finance Minister stated that while the investment on Health Infrastructure in this Budget has increased substantially, “progressively, as institutions absorb more, we shall commit more”.
Acknowledging the importance of robust health systems as a significant pillar of sustained progress in the health sector, a new centrally sponsored scheme, PM Aatma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, will be launched with an outlay of about Rs 64,180 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.