Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget 2023-24 increased the allocation for Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) to Rs 7200 crore, while Rs 646 crore has been allocated for the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).
Sitharaman also announced that the union government will launch a mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia in India by 2047.
"It will entail awareness creation, universal screening of 7 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," Sitharaman told parliament.
Also read: FM Sitharaman unveils new programme to promote innovation in pharma
The allocation for Ayushman Bharat, the world’s largest government-funded health assurance scheme, is a 12 percent increase from the amount of Rs 6,412 crore allotted in FY23.
A sum of Rs 88,956 crore was allocated to the health and family welfare ministry, compared to Rs 86,606 crore in FY23.Follow our live blog for the latest Budget 2023 updates
These are some key announcements made by the finance minister in her Budget 2023 speech:
1) Facilities in select ICMR Labs will be made available for research by
public and private medical college faculty and private sector R&D teams for
encouraging collaborative research and innovation.
2) A new programme to promote research and innovation in
pharmaceuticals will be taken up through centers of excellence. We shall
also encourage industry to invest in research and development in specific
3) 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.
5) One hundred and fifty-seven new nursing colleges will be established in co-location with the existing 157 medical colleges established
Ayushman Bharat Scheme
AB-PMJAY is a health insurance scheme for the poor, providing up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary healthcare hospitalisation. Eligible beneficiaries of implementing states and Union Territories are entitled to cashless services.
Although enrolment is not required, beneficiary verification is undertaken to validate identity. Verified beneficiaries are issued Ayushman cards. Eligible beneficiaries cannot be denied treatment in absence of an Ayushman card.
The scheme covers about 107.4 million poor and vulnerable families. Senior citizens and disabled persons who meet the eligibility criteria can avail of the benefits of the scheme.
“As of 4th December 2022, a total of 20.96 crore beneficiaries have been provided with Ayushman cards and over 4.18 crore hospital admissions worth Rs. 48,954.33 crore have been authorised through a network of 26,267 empanelled healthcare providers including 11,700 private hospitals,” health minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed Parliament.
The scheme has been implemented in 33 states and Union Territories. Odisha, West Bengal and Delhi have not implemented it.
Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission
The ABDM is an open platform that will consist of the digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, consent framework, and universal access to health facilities.
According to the Centre, ABDM aims to enable interoperability of data within the ecosystem to create electronic health records of all citizens.
The Centre said that both public and private sector IT solutions in health are integrated through various registries under ABDM. More than 800 government and private entities are presently integrating with the ABDM ecosystem.
“The digital health ecosystem created by ABDM supports continuity of care across primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare in a seamless manner. It aids availability of healthcare services, particularly in remote and rural areas, through various technology interventions like telemedicine,” Mandaviya told the Lok Sabha in July last year.