Pune reacts to Budget: Doctors say health sector provisions were disappointing
Jan Swasthya Abhiyan national convenor Dr Abhay Shukla said, “The budget was disappointing for the health sector. Compared to last year, the budget has barely increased by 2.5 per cent. It has gone up from Rs 51,000 crore to Rs 52,800 crore.”pune Updated: Feb 01, 2018 23:34 IST
Even as the Union Budget 2018-19 focused on agriculture and health, the health fraternity from the city gave mixed reactions to the budget presented on Thursday.
Jan Swasthya Abhiyan national convenor Dr Abhay Shukla said, “The budget was disappointing for the health sector. Compared to last year, the budget has barely increased by 2.5 per cent. It has gone up from Rs 51,000 crore to Rs 52,800 crore. The allocation for the national health mission has in fact gone down from Rs 30,800 crore to Rs 30,130 crores which is down by 670 crores. The national health protection scheme was there in the last budget as well and had an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore. This has now increased to Rs 2,000 crore which is minuscule."
Bomi Bhote, chief executive officer (CEO), Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “While the overall outlook for the healthcare budget is fairly positive, there continues to remain a lack of confidence with no concrete economic and fiscal measures focusing solely on private hospitals.”
He said that the multiple initiatives in the budget are very bold step taken by the Government. “Ease of access to healthcare and a focus on public health challenges such as tuberculosis are strong pillars to build a foundation of good health in the country. These initiatives are slow but sure steps which indicate that the Government is progressing towards universal healthcare coverage. What matters now is the successful implementation of these programmes and I’m sure upcoming technology such as virtual healthcare will play a huge role,” said Bhote.