Budget 2018: Jaitley announces ‘world’s largest healthcare programme’

Updated - February 01, 2018 05:40 pm IST

Published - February 01, 2018 12:00 pm IST

As on date, several doctors are yet to receive the basic pay for at least two months.  File Photo

As on date, several doctors are yet to receive the basic pay for at least two months. File Photo

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced two new initiatives under the Ayushman Bharat Programme in the Union Budget 2018.

Under the programme, Mr. Jaitley announced a new flagship National Health Protection Scheme, providing a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh a family per annum. The scheme will cover 10 crore vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries.

“We are slowly progressing towards universal health coverage,” Mr. Jaitley said, adding that the scheme would be the “world’s largest healthcare programme”.

Mr. Jaitley also announced the creation of health and wellness centres, which will “bring healthcare closer to home”. These centres, 1.5 lakh in number, will provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. A sum of Rs. 1200 crore had been allocated for this.

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