Budgetary allocation to health sector enhanced by Rs 500 cr

With a view to augment poor healthcare infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, the government has enhanced the budgetary allocation for vital health and medical education sector by Rs 500 crore in the budget 2020-21 which was presented by the Union Finance Minister in the Parliament.

The budgetary allocation for health sector has been increased by Rs 500 crore in comparison to allocation of Rs 768 crore for health and medical education during last budget of 2019-2020. The total allocation in budget for H&ME is Rs 1268 crore for this fiscal year.

According to health department officials, Jammu and Kashmir is facing dearth in healthcare infrastructure, for a population of over 1.25 crore people in Union territory, there are around 180 ventilators.

A senior health department official said “allocation for health sector has been enhanced with a view to provide better facilities, control communicable as well non communicable diseases, improve maternal and child care services, strengthening secondary and tertiary health care and to provide health care at door steps.”

“To further improve health care facilities, two AIIMS are being set up besides seven new Medical Colleges at Baramulla, Anantnag, Doda, Rajouri, Kathua, Handwara and Udhampur. An amount of ` 8 crore is being set aside for setting up of 20 digital dispensaries in each district of the Union Territory. Government shall set-up 86 Jan Aushadi Kendras and 16 AMRIT stores for affordable medicines for poor patients,” he informed.

The over Rs 1-lakh crore Budget for Jammu and Kashmir for 2020-21 laid emphasis on the development of newly carved-out Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which was made a Union Territory with effect from October 31, 2019.

The total budget estimates for the fiscal is Rs 1, 01,428 crore, of which developmental expenditure is of the order of Rs 38,764 crore, an increase of 27 per cent.

It is pertinent to mention that last week, Jammu and Kashmir administration  accorded sanction to rolling out the J&K Health Scheme to provide free of cost Universal Health Coverage to all residents of the Union Territory in convergence with Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY.

The decision was taken by the administrative council which met under the chairmanship of Lt Governor.

Around 1.25 crore residents of the Union Territory would get all benefits provided under the centre’s Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).

At present, 31 lakh people are eligible for benefits under Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY, the official said, adding around 15 lakh additional families will be covered under the J&K Health Scheme.