The Modi-led government's ambitious healthcare project- the Ayushman Bharat, was bearly mentioned in FM Nirmala Sitharaman's budget speech on Friday. No new initiatives were announced towards healthcare either.
However, there was an over 15 percent increase in health budget proposed for the financial year 2019-20, out of which the flagship health insurance scheme got almost half of the total hike in the overall budget for health.
The 'Ayushman Bharat' unveiled in the 2018 budget, has two pillars:
- Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PM-JAY) which provides health insurance
- Upcoming 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres
In the Budget 2019, the ministry of health and family welfare was allotted Rs 62,659.12 crore when compared to Rs 52,800 crore in 2018-19. While there was an 18.67 percent increase in overall healthcare, the AB- PMJAY received a massive 154.87 percent increase.
Ayushman Bharat received Rs 6,400 crore this year, from Rs 2,400 crores in 2018-19, giving it a budgetary hike of Rs 4,000 crore out of the total Rs 8,514 crore increase in the overall health budget.
The scheme that aims to provide an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh to 50 crore people in nearly 10.74 crore deprived families is expected to see a much larger hike in the number of registrations made this year when compared to its maiden year, justifying the increase in funding.