State of healthcare in the union budget 2017

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  • An additional Rs 10,600 crores have been allocated for health compared to the previous year. But, when adjusted for inflation, it is not even equal to that made in 2011-12. This may not be enough to even maintain existing health programes.
  • Union government spending on health is only 0.29% of GDP. The union and states’ spending together, is 1.2% of GDP. WHO recommends spending between 2.5% to 5% of GDP on health.
  • Several ambitious health programes have been announced without any budgetary support.
  • Intended conversion of 1.5 lakh sub-centers into health and wellness centers. If funded adequately, a large number can benefit. Unfortunately no allocation is specified in the budget for this programme.
  • Some pre-existing schemes that have been rebranded as “Human Resources for Health and Medical Education” have also been included to show an large increase in the mission’s budget. In reality, the budget for existing functions has increased only by Rs 2,500 crores, which is an increase of only 4% when adjusted for inflation.
  • Rs 6,000 are to be transferred directly into the bank accounts of pregnant women undergoing institutional deliveries and vaccinating their children. The National Food Security Act, passed in July 2013, promised universal maternity benefit of Rs 6,000 but has not been implemented yet, so this is a rebranded show of funds, only.
  • The proposal to restructure medical education and add 5000 post graduate seats for specialist courses.. But WHERE is the funding??

Talk a BIG game, where’s the money at?

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