The Rs. 37,330 crore budget allocation to the ministry of health and family welfare is making several public health experts question the UPA's commitment to 'health for all', which ambitiously plans to offer universal health coverage for all during 12th five-year plan (2012-2017) .
"Of this (Rs 37,330 crore), the new National Health Mission (NHM), which combines the rural mission and the proposed urban mission, will get Rs. 21,239 crore, an increase of 24.3% over the RE (revised estimate)," Chidambaram said in his budget speech.
“The NHM budgetary increase is very modest because even if you freeze the National Rural Health Mission resources at the current level, you cannot expect the remaining resources to launch the Urban Health Mission in earnest,” says Dr K Srinath Reddy, resident of the Public Health Foundation of India and the World Heart Federation.
Six of the newly set-up “AIIMS-like” institutions — medical colleges and hospitals in Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh — got Rs. 1,650 crore to train their first batch of students
Medical education, training and research got Rs. 4,727 crore, with Rs. 150 crore going to the National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly.
AYUSH, which promotes and regulates alternative medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, was allocated Rs. 1,069 crore.