Interim Budget 2024: Healthcare sector receives an allocation of ₹90,171 crore
3 min read • Updated: February 1, 2024, 8:09 PM
The Interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-2025 allocates ₹90,171 crore to the healthcare sector, signaling a focus on bolstering healthcare infrastructure and services post-pandemic. The allocation aims to enhance local healthcare capabilities, upskill medical personnel, and promote medical research. However, industry experts await the full-year budget for comprehensive solutions to healthcare challenges.
- The Interim Budget 2024 saw ₹90,171 crore allocated towards the healthcare sector, a change from the ₹89,155 crore allocated last fiscal year.
- The allocated funds will be put towards increasing localised healthcare services, upskilling medical personnel, and furthering medical research.
Come February the entire nation watches with anticipation as the finance minister announces the interim Union Budget for the fiscal year. Since 2024 is an election year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced an interim budget with a blueprint for what the full-year budget, announced sometime in June, will look like. Post-pandemic, all eyes have been on the health sector. Here’s what the Interim Budget for the financial year 2024-2025 has in store for the health sector.
What does the budget FY25 allocation to the healthcare sector signify?
While the COVID-19 pandemic has abated, it has shifted the focus of governments and citizens towards healthcare and streamlining medical systems. Since it has only been two years since the worst of the pandemic has passed, it is no surprise that the Interim Budget has allocated ₹90,171 crore towards the healthcare sector. The allocation is a marked change from last year’s budget estimates of ₹89,155 crore.
The allocation, experts say, will help bolster insurance schemes and streamline healthcare infrastructure, reforms, and digitisation of services. Experts have also stated that the allocation can be used to focus on amplifying local capabilities to ensure that care reaches even the remotest areas. To integrate global practices, it is important the budget allocations factor in effective execution along with safeguards in terms of quality and safety. The allocations will also be used to finance various healthcare schemes and subsidies and further research in the medical field.
The government announced the establishment of more than 150 nursing colleges in the previous budget to bolster the health workforce in India. However, industry recommendations maintained that this area could do with a lot more work, government focus, and policy reforms. Till the budget was announced, India’s doctor-to-patient ratio was lower than the recommended threshold as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, this ratio might see a drastic improvement with the government setting aside funds dedicated to the training and development of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals with a focus on digital learning.
In her speech, while announcing the Interim Budget 2024, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed the importance of training more doctors and medical professionals. She mentioned that the allocated funds will be used to bolster the existing hospital network to set up more medical colleges. Additionally, the Finance Minister also stressed making vaccination more accessible, especially for cervical cancer, and prioritised setting up more anganwadis.
While the Interim Budget 2024-25 has met certain industry expectations, it hasn’t addressed other key concerns. With the full-year budget yet to be announced, industry experts are still holding out hope for complete redressal of their grievances. Watch this space to learn more about Budget FY 2024-25 and receive key updates.