Health budget: Government pushes for research and innovation; announces sickle cell anaemia elimination mission

The Union government has allocated ₹88,956 crore to the health sector. The revised budget for 2022-23 till 1 February was ₹77,351 crore.

BySumit Jha

Published Feb 01, 2023 | 2:42 PMUpdated Feb 01, 2023 | 8:31 PM

Health budget: Government pushes for research and innovation; announces sickle cell anaemia elimination mission

The health budget for the year 2023-24 has been increased by 2.7 per cent to ₹88,956 crore.

For 2022-23, the Union government has allocated a budget of ₹86,606 crore. The revised budget for 2022-23 till 1 February was ₹77,351 crore.

Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, 1 February, presented the Union budget in Parliament.

An estimated ₹36,785 crore has been proposed for the National Health Mission (NHM). The previous year, the NHM budget was ₹37,160 crore and the revised estimates were ₹33,708 crore.

Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(PMJAY) has been allocated ₹7,200 crore, and ₹4,200 crore has been earmarked for the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PMABHIM).

For National AIDS and STD Control(NACO) Programme, the government has set aside ₹3,080 crore. While ₹517 crore has been allocated for Family Welfare Schemes, the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana will get a ₹3,365 crore push.

Also read: 3% tax on wealth of Indian billionaires can fund National Health Mission: Oxfam

The finance minister also announced a few major schemes in the health sector.

Nursing Colleges

The finance minister announced that 157 new nursing colleges will be established in co-location with the existing as many medical colleges established since 2014.

Sickle cell anaemia elimination

She also announced a mission to eliminate Sickle cell anaemia by 2047.

“It will entail awareness creation, universal screening of seven crore people in the age group of 0-40 years in affected tribal areas, and counselling through collaborative efforts of central ministries and state governments,” the finance minister said in her speech.

Medical Research

Facilities in select Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Labs will be made available for research by public and private medical college faculty and private sector R&D teams to encourage collaborative research and innovation.

Pharma Innovation

A new programme to promote pharmaceutical research and innovation will be taken up through centres of excellence.

“We shall also encourage investment in research and development in specific priority areas,” Sitharaman said.

Multidisciplinary courses for medical devices

She also said that dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices will be supported in existing institutions to ensure the availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing and research.

Cigarettes to cost more

National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) on specified cigarettes was last revised three years ago. This is proposed to be revised upwards by about 16 percent.