The ambitious National Health Protection Scheme will cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.

Union Budget 2018 Worlds largest govt funded health protection plan announced
news Union Budget 2018 Thursday, February 01, 2018 - 13:00

In what is being labelled as a global first, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the world’s largest government funded healthcare programme in Budget 2018 on Thursday. The ambitious flagship programme – the National Health Protection Scheme –will cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families or 40% of India’s population. This is targeted at reaching approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. Under this programme, each family can claim medical reimbursements up to Rs 5 lakh every year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

The Finance Minister said the programme would be a step towards offering Universal Health Coverage and would take healthcare protection to a new aspirational level.

At present, the Rashtriya Swasthiya Bhima Yojna scheme provides an annual coverage of RS 30,000 for poor families, there is an announcement to up this limit.

24 new medical colleges

Among the other anticipated announcements towards boosting healthcare, the Union Government, has in Budget 2018 proposed to provide the country more government medical colleges in an attempt to boost access to better healthcare in all pockets of the country.

The 2018 Budget has proposed to establish 24 new medical colleges in various parts of the country. With this, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that it would be ensured that there is at least one government medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies and one in a state.

Aayushman Bharat Scheme

In addition to this, Jaitley announced 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres in the country.

“The National Health Policy 2017 has envisioned that health and wellness centres as the foundation of India’s healthcare system. These 1.5 lakh centres will bring healthcare systems closer to the homes of people. These centres will provide comprehensive healthcare including care for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child services. These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. I am committing Rs 1200 crores in the budget for this flagship programme,” said Jaitley.

Nutrition for TB

The budget also announced an allocation of Rs 600 crores to provide nutritional support for patients with tuberculosis. Jaitley said that with tuberculosis being one of the diseases that claims large number of lives every year, nutritional support would be provided at Rs 500 per month for every patient through the duration of their treatment.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.