National

Budget 2020 | Dip in funds for major govt. hospitals in Budget

The Budget allocation this year for JIPMER in Puducherry fell by ₹53 crore compared to last year’s revised estimates.

The Budget allocation this year for JIPMER in Puducherry fell by ₹53 crore compared to last year’s revised estimates.   | Photo Credit: File photo

However, AIIMS, Safdarjung and Ram Manohar Lohia hospitals see a marginal hike in funding

Despite increasing patient load, growing cost of healthcare and 100% utilisation of allocated budget in 2019, major government institutes and hospitals across India, catering to the poorest sections of the society, have seen a sharp dip or a minimal hike in the 2020 Budget.

Among the worst hit are PGIMER (Chandigarh); JIPMER (Puducherry), and NIMHANS (Bengaluru). AIIMS, Safdarjung and Ram Manohar Lohia hospitals in Delhi, which take the bulk of patients from across the country, have seen only a marginal hike in allocation.

As per the proposed Budget for 2020-21 against the revised estimates of 2019-20, PGIMER has seen a ₹333 crore reduction; the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (Imphal) ₹105 crore; JIPMER ₹53 crore and NIMHANS ₹18 crore. AIIMS has seen a hike of only ₹5 crore, Safdarjung ₹3 crore and RML hospital ₹2 crore approximately.

The allocation for the National Health Mission (NHM) has remained the same over the last few years and this year it has been allocated ₹33,400 crore. This is less than last year’s revised estimate of ₹33,789 crore.

Focus on insurance

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced an outlay of about ₹69,000 crore for the health sector in the 2020-2021 Budget. Health, which is at 1.6% of GDP, has ₹6,400 crore earmarked for the Centre’s flagship health insurance scheme, Prime Minister Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), which will also see 20,000 more empanelled hospitals under the PMJAY.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is to get ₹65,011.8 crore, up from ₹62,659.12 crore in 2019-20. The Ministry of AYUSH has been allocated ₹2,122.08 crore, while there is an allocation of ₹2,100 crore to the Department of Health Research.

“While the allocation to the health sector has seen a hike, when we look into the details we can understand that for government hospitals and institutes across India — which are grappling with escalating patient load, treatment costs and larger number of patients needing more expensive treatment — the money allocated is not enough,” said a senior physician at AIIMS, Delhi.

“There is also pressure on building more infrastructure. Primary healthcare, which is the backbone of the healthcare system, hasn’t seen additional proposed allocation, which is another cause of worry given that in India the average cost per hospitalisation varies and is upwards of ₹17,000,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 3:58:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/budget-2020-dip-in-funds-for-major-govt-hospitals-in-budget/article30765138.ece

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