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Budget 2018: Central govt likely to increase health spending by 11 percent

By Deepika

The Central Government is planning to increase its public health spending by 11 percent in the annual budget next month, after rejecting Health Minister JP Nadda's demand for a much bigger increase to ramp up disease control.

Health Minister JP Nadda

According to reports, Health Minister JP Nadda had sought a $10 billion budget for stepping up disease control.

The Union Health Minister sought a "bare minimum" budget of nearly $10 billion for the financial year 2018-19 - 33 percent higher than last year - in a letter to the finance minister on Nov. 26, the Reuters news agency reported quoting to government sources.

Government may also consider setting up of a trust to roll out the scheme, under which everyone will be provided health insurance benefit between Rs 3 and 5 lakh.

The health insurance scheme will be divided into three types - Kalyan Scheme, under which people living below poverty line will be covered; Saubhagya Scheme, under which people with Rs 2 lakh of annual income will be covered and Sarvodaya scheme under which people above Rs 2 lakh of annual income will be covered.

As per official records, as on March 31, 2015, there were 1, 53, 655 Sub-Centres, 25,308 Primary Health Centres and 5,396 Community Health Centres (CHCs) functioning in the country. Evidently, given India's population, these numbers are far from adequate.

Other areas that the industry hopes the Budget will address is encouragement to set up more number of highway accident trauma centres and rescue teams given that India records a large number of deaths due to accidents every year.

The government should find ways to cover the uncovered population under health insurance.

OneIndia News

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