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Interim Budget 2024 Highlights: Government Drives Focus On Healthcare Workers, Women And Child Health

From increasing the number of medical colleges to extending health insurance healthcare workers, the Finance Minister made several announcements

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अंतरिम बजट 2024 की मुख्य बातें: सरकार ने स्वास्थ्य कर्मियों, महिलाओं और बाल स्वास्थ्य पर दिया ज्यादा ध्यान
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the interim budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 today, on February 1

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the interim union budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 today. The budget session witnessed various announcements for the enhancement of the healthcare sector. From increasing the number of medical colleges to extending health insurance to other healthcare workers, the Finance Minister made several announcements.

Here are the highlights of the of Interim Budget 2024 for health:

  1. Maternal and Child Health: The schemes for maternal and child care will be brought under one comprehensive programme for synergy in implementation.
  2. Upgradation of Anganwadi centre under Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0 will be expedited for improved nutrition delivery, early childhood care, and development.
  3. Ayushman Bharat Scheme: The healthcare coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist), Anganwadi workers, and helpers.
  4. The newly designed U-Win Digital Platform (platform to digitise its Universal Immunisation Programme for children and pregnant women) and intensified efforts of Mission Indradhanush will be rolled out expeditiously across the country.
  5. Cervical cancer vaccination: The Centre will encourage vaccination (HPV Vaccine) for the prevention of cervical cancer to girls aged between 9 and 14 years through their schools.
  6. The central government will set up more medical colleges by utilising the existing hospital infrastructure under various departments. A committee for this purpose will be set to examine the issues and make relevant recommendations.

On announcements for health sector in Interim Budget 2024, Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta Medicity, Dr Naresh Trehan said,

A lot of emphasis on Anganwadis, women’s health, vaccination for young girls against cervical cancer. All these things are very important addition to what we have. But more importantly, offering of Ayushman coverage for Anganwadi workers and ASHA workers is a big move. I think that will go down very well and boost the morale of our frontline health workers. I think overall, a lot of our expectations about medical education, increasing the number of medical colleges and the other facilities for the paramedical personnel is excellent.

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India. 

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