Budget 2021

Healthcare industry welcomes increased budget allocation

Ms. Sitharaman has also proposed ₹ 35,000 crore outlay for COVID-19 vaccines for the next fiscal.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The healthcare industry welcomed the government’s increased allocation for the healthcare sector and said that the move will provide access to medical care for all in the country, fuel job creation, and boost economic momentum.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed ₹2,23,846 crore budget outlay for health and well-being for 2021-22, compared to ₹94,452 crore in the current fiscal, registering an increase of 137%.

Ms. Sitharaman has also proposed a ₹35,000 crore outlay for COVID-19 vaccines for the next fiscal and announced the roll-out of pneumococcal vaccines across the country to help save over 50,000 deaths annually.

“I have provided ₹35,000 crore for COVID vaccines for 2021-22. I commit to provide further funds if required,” the Finance Minister said while presenting the Budget for 2021-22.

Commenting on the budget, Apollo Hospitals chairman Prathap C. Reddy said, the ground-breaking focus on health which will provide access to medical care for all in our country, fuel job creation and boost economic momentum. India’s efforts in managing the pandemic have been exemplary — the country’s frontline workers and scientists have been working tirelessly to save lives and develop indigenous vaccines. “Now the allocation of ₹35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines and more if required, makes our glorious nation stand tall as a model for the world,” he added. “We must now look at the next crisis of non-communicable diseases, which will be responsible for 80% of deaths and cause a US$3.8 trillion burden to the country by 2030.”

Manipal Hospitals MD and CEO Dilip Jose said the Finance Minister had accorded special attention to the healthcare sector. “The enhanced allocation, along with the plan to look at healthcare holistically — including nutrition, sanitation, clean drinking water and pollution control, certainly augurs well for the country,” he added.

In a similar vein, Aster DM Healthcare founder chairman and MD Azad Moopen said the budget had seen a phenomenal increase in outlay for the healthcare sector, with a focus on addressing the key issues facing India today. “It is encouraging to see the shift in focus to prioritise preventive care and well-being, over just sick[ness]-care,” he added.

Ujala Cygnus group of hospitals founder and director Shuchin Bajaj said the health allocation in the first digital Union Budget presented in Parliament after the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 150,000 people so far, reflected that the government was serious about the steps needed to reach that level of health preparedness.

The announcement of the new Centrally-funded scheme, PM Swasthya Yojana, with an outlay of ₹64,180 crore, will strengthen and develop primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities even in the last miles of our nation, he added.

“The emphasis on health in the Union budget 2021, brings in hope and light after the most challenging period faced by the world, especially the healthcare industry. The most overwhelming addition in the aftermath of the pandemic is the PM’s Aatmanirbhar Health Yojana, with an outlay of ₹64,180 crore over six years,” PD Hinduja Hospital CEO Gautam Khanna said.

Metropolis Healthcare promoter and MD Ameera Shah said it was heartening to see a holistic view on health, taking into account clean water, hygiene and sanitisation, vaccination, nutrition, and pollution.

“The launch of PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojna and the much-needed push to set up primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare is most welcome and we hope the government partners with private healthcare to hasten this process and strengthen health services across the country,” Ms. Shah said.

“This year, the focus of the world was squarely centred on the healthcare industry. Continuing the trend, the budget highlighted the government’s holistic approach to healthcare with the allocation of [₹]2.23 lakh crore, a 137% increase from last year under the Atmanirbhar Swast Bharat Yojana,” Sukino Healthcare founder and CEO Rajinish Menon said.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 12:12:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/healthcare-industry-welcomes-increased-budget-allocation-for-health-well-being/article33717111.ece

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