While the health allocation in the Union budget 2021-22 concentrated on mitigating the effects of a pandemic of Covid-19, inadequate funds were obtained by major public health schemes.
While the 2021-22 health and well-being budget estimate is pegged at Rs. 2.23.846 crore, an increase of 137 per cent, the figure also includes the budget for schemes from other ministries along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, such as POSHAN Abhiyan under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) under the Department of Water and Sanitation.
Here are some more reactions from Indian doctors, economists and analysts:
Mr Amit Banka, founder, Wenaturalists
Capital infusion of ₹1,000 crores in Solar Energy Corporation of India and ₹1,500 crores to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency are constructive steps for the betterment of the environment. But there are massive budget cuts in multiple other aspects.
In addition to a reduction in the overall allocation to the Ministry of Environment, the allocation to Climate Change Action, which is our most pertinent threat today, reduced from ₹ 40 crores to ₹ 30 crores this year. Allocation for Clean Air reduced from ₹ 4,400 crores last year to ₹ 2,217 crores. This is a little disheartening.
Investing in nature has untapped potential for India and with a third of our GDP depending on nature, we cannot overlook its importance.
Dr Tejinder Kataria Chairperson, Radiation Oncology Cancer Center Medanta – The Medicity
It is heartening to observe the commitment of Finance Minister to bring up the health and infrastructure in the Budget 2021-22 with an emphasis on prevention strategies.
Spending on Infrastructure and health will ensure the long term returns over the next decade by increasing productivity, creating jobs and giving a healthy Indian population that is capable of dedicated research & development on all fronts in an innovative way.
To harness the Human capital of India, it is projected that such commitments of financial resources over the next few budgets as highlighted with sight on years till 2025 and beyond will definitely make India progress towards becoming a fully developed Aatmanirbhar nation.
Mr Vaibhav Garg, Sports & Clinical Nutritionist, Founder- Purecise
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a new centrally sponsored scheme for the healthcare sector in Budget 2021. The Pradhan Mantri Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana has been launched with a total outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over a period of next six years aimed to cure new and emerging diseases.
In addition, for the year 2021-2022, Rs 35000 crores will be provided for the contribution of COVID-19 vaccinations. This budget focuses on the health care system which is one of our common goals towards the country. However, we had expected an initiative to be taken by the government towards improving palliative care through science-based dietary and nutrition protocols in the post-COVID-19 scenario.
The budget very aptly focuses towards strengthening preventive care, curative and well-being of the population.
Mr D S Negi, IAS (Retd.), CEO – RGCIRC
Increase in health budget is a major boost for public health. Increase in health budget outlay to Rs 2.2 lakh crore, an increase of 137% is a highly positive step towards attaining the objective of universal healthcare. The govt. has taken a holistic approach by strengthening all the three areas of preventive, curative and wellbeing.
The Atamnirbhar Swasth Yojana with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore in addition to the National Health Mission will help strengthen the public health infrastructure which is in dire need of fund infusion.
Dr. Vedam Ramprasad, CEO, MedGenome Labs.
The union budget has identified preventive healthcare as one of the key elements to strengthen for a holistic approach to healthcare. Preventive healthcare involves, first, predicting an individual’s risk of developing certain diseases through the use of advanced molecular diagnostics techniques such as RT-PCR and Next Generation Sequencing.
Molecular diagnostics can enhance our ability to investigate and detect emerging infectious diseases, develop vaccines and medicines, combat antimicrobial resistance and reduce the burden of genetic disease in India.
Improving access to molecular diagnostics can lead to better healthcare for the masses and improved quality of life. Steps such as making Preimplantation Genetic Testing routine for all IVF embryos before implantation in the proposed Assisted Reproductive Technology bill is one example of how the government can help improve the lives of people through preventive healthcare.
Nikhil Chopra, CEO & Whole Time Director, J.B. Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals
The budget addresses the gaps in rural and urban healthcare that the pandemic exposed with the ‘PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana’ in addition to the National Health Mission. Along with the emphasis on nutrition, clean water, and clean environment, this will bolster health infrastructure and reach across India. The pharma industry is ready to contribute towards fortifying the health of the nation that is the cornerstone of development. JBCPL stands by the nation!
Dr Anjali Kaul, Medical Superintendent, Artemis Hospitals Gurgaon
India is on its way to overcome COVID pandemic. Our mortality due to COVID has been least as compared to other nations, thanks to our doctors and nurses. India is a frontrunner when it comes to mass vaccination and production of vaccines against COVID. At this time, the central government’s financial support of Rs 35,000 crore for the Covid vaccine will ensure that it reaches all.
Another laudable decision is rolling out of pneumococcal vaccines across the country, which will save more than 50,000 child deaths every year. Malnutrition still remains a challenge for our country and the announcement to launch Mission Poshan 2.0 will ensure better nutrition to the vulnerable section of the society.
- Dinesh Chauhan, CEO, CORE Diagnostics
We hail the Government’s continued commitment towards healthcare & well-being with the new Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Yojana, in addition to the National Health Mission, with an outlay of Rs 64,180 cr.
This will provide the necessary impetus to the development of primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare and further support the nation to come out of the distress caused by COVID-19. Since it will also be used towards creating modern institutions & labs to cater for detection and cure of new and emerging diseases – the diagnostics industry will have a major role to play and work towards making healthcare more accessible and sustainable.
This is a great move towards making healthcare services more democratised and we are committed to bringing a significant change in the diagnostics space with early diagnosis and outcome-based line of treatment for patients.”