Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Announces The Biggest Healthcare Reform In The Union Budget 2018
In a historic move by the ruling government, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a National Health Protection Scheme under which Rs 5 lakh cover will be provided in a year to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families in the country.
“We are now launching a flagship national health protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. This is approximately 50 crore beneficiaries, by providing them up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation,” Jaitley said presenting the 2018-19 Union Budget.
The scheme was announced under the Ayushman Bharat initiative, under which medical insurance will be provided to poor families, and also promote overall health by brining wellness centres to their door step, especially in remote areas.
In his speech, Jaitley termed the historic scheme as the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme, which would take healthcare protection to a new level.
The premium for the National Health Protection Scheme would be in the range of 2-2.5 lakh crore each year. The Finance Minister also announced Rs 1,200 crore for 1.5 lakh wellness health centres in the country.
In the Union Budget, 2018, Jaitley also announced Rs 600 crore for nutritional support of Tuberculosis patients in India. Under this initiative, Rs 500 will be provided to each TB patient undergoing treatment.
“A total of 24 new government medical colleges have also been announced as part of the new initiative for health by the government,” said Jaitley.
In this revolutionary budget, which added health cover benefit for crores of people, we can surely say that our growing economy is concerned about the marginalised and the disadvantaged. In a way, this is a redistribution of wealth generated in favour of the impoverished and the poor.