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Interim Union Budget 2024 | Economy

Interim Budget 2024 | ASHA, anganwadi workers and helpers gets health cover under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana 

Watch | Interim Budget 2024 | What’s in it for health sector?
| Video Credit: Richard Kujur

The sectors that saw increased allocation of funds in the last budget continued to witness an increment this year as well

February 01, 2024 12:44 pm | Updated 11:11 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Health cover under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana will be extended to all Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and anganwadi workers and helpers said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, while announcing the interim Union Budget 2024-25.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holding a folder-case containing the Interim Budget 2024

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holding a folder-case containing the Interim Budget 2024 | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

While a full budget for 2024-25 will be announced after the new government is formed following the Lok Sabha elections later this year the budget allocation saw an increase from ₹89,155 crore in 2023-24 to ₹90,658.63 crore for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare while Ayush Ministry also saw a hike from ₹3,647.50 crore to ₹3,712.49 crore.

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For the health sector, the Minister added that India will be bringing in the services of the newly designed U-WIN platform for managing immunisation and intensified efforts of Mission Indradhanush.

“This is to be rolled out expeditiously throughout the country,” the Minister said during her nigh hour long speech.

The other major addition in the sector includes utilising the existing hospital infrastructure under various departments to offer medical seats to students and encouraging HPV vaccination for girls in the age group of 9 to 14 years for prevention of cervical cancer.

The government also proposed to combine various schemes for maternal and childcare and bring them under one comprehensive programme for synergy.

The Minister added that, as part of the Skill India Mission, youth are being trained through various world-class institutes including 15 newly constructed All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

“Several youth have the ambition to get qualified as doctors. They aim to serve our people through improved healthcare services. Our Government plans to set up more medical colleges by utilizing the existing hospital infrastructure under various departments. A committee for this purpose will be set-up to examine the issues and make relevant recommendations,” the Minister said.

The Minister added that geopolitically, global affairs are becoming more challenging with wars and conflicts.

“Globalisation is being redefined with reshoring and friend-shoring, disruption and fragmentation of supply chains, and competition for critical minerals and technologies. A new world order is emerging after the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Minister said. The budget also announced upgradation of Anganwadi centres under ‘Saksham Anganwadi’ and Poshan 2.0 will be expedited to improve nutrition delivery, early childhood care, and development.

The sectors that saw increased allocation of funds in the last 2023-24 budget included Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, CGHS pensioners, and the National AIDS and STD programme. This year continued with that trend although allocation for development of nursing services did witness a drop.

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