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Health Budget: Focus On Making India Global Millet Hub, 157 New Nursing Colleges

What's in Union Budget 2023 for the health sector? Here's all you need to know.

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The Union Budget 2023 envisages India becoming a global hub for Sri-Anna or Millets, announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1 February, adding that the country is already the largest producer and second largest exporter of millets.

"To make India a global hub for millet research, the Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad will be made into a centre of excellence," Sitharaman said, as part of the announcement for the health sector.

The health sector has been allocated Rs 89,155 crore in the Union Budget 2023-24, a hike of around 12 percent over Rs 79,145 crore allocated in 2022-23.

The Key Highlights

  • 157 new nursing colleges will be established in colocation with the existing 157 medical colleges that have been established since 2014.

  • Mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 to be launched, will entail awarness creation, universal screening of 7 crore people in 0 - 40 years in affected tribal areas, and counselling.

  • The Indian Council For Medical Research Labs will be made available for research by the public and private medical college faculty and private sector R&D teams for encouraging collaborative research and innovation.

  • New programme to promote research and innovation in pharmaceuticals to be taken up through centres of excellence, industry to also be encouraged to invest in research and development in priority areas.

  • Dedicated multi-disciplinary courses for medical devices and technology will be introduced in existing colleges.

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The Big Numbers

Sitharaman announced Rs 89,155 crore has been allocated to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. For the upcoming financial year, Rs 86,175 crore has been allocated to the department of health and family welfare while Rs 2,980 crore has been allocated for the department of health research.

For the ongoing fiscal year, budget spent on the department of health and family welfare is Rs 76,370.

  • For the National Tele Mental Health Programme, the budget allocation has been increased from Rs 121 crore to Rs 133.73 crore.

  • The budget allocation for the National Health Mission has also been increased from Rs 28,974.29 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 29,085.26 crore in 2023-24.

  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PM-JAY) has been hiked from Rs 6,412 crore to Rs 7,200 crore.

'Need More Focus On Preventive Medicine': Reactions to Union Budget

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A Lookback: What Was Announced In Budget 2022

Rs 5,000 crore was earmarked for the COVID-19 vaccination support to states for 2022-23.

FY22’s Revised Estimate shows a spend of Rs 39,000 crore on the vaccination drive that has covered over 75 per cent of the adult population since its launch on 16 January 2021.

There was an increase of over seven percent in allocation towards the National Health Mission.

However, the highlight of the previous budget was the announcement of the 'National Tele Mental Health Programme'.

“This will include a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence, with NIMHANS being the nodal centre and the International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore providing technology support,” she had said.

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