Navigation Links
Union Budget: Impact on Health Sector

The Union budget for 2007-'08, presented by Finance minister P.Chidambaram has drawn cheers from some quarters and flak from others. In his introductory remarks he// said: 'The education and health sectors will also receive substantial funds. In 2007-08, I propose to enhance the allocation for education by 34.2 per cent to Rs.32,352 crore and for health and family welfare by 21.9 per cent to Rs.15,291 crore.'

Dissuading smoking has been a high priority and smokers have always paid more for their puffs over the years. This year is no exception. The minister said: 'I strongly support the campaign 'say no to tobacco'. Hence, I propose to increase the specific rates of excise duty on cigarettes by about 5 per cent. Similarly, excise duty (excluding cess) on biris, which was last fixed in 2001, will be raised from Rs.7 to Rs.11 per thousand for non-machine made biris and from Rs.17 to Rs.24 per thousand for machine made biris. There is an exemption from excise duty for unbranded biris up to 20 lakh biris in a year. Complaints have been received of misuse of the exemption. This exemption will henceforth be available subject to fulfillment of the condition of declaration with the Department of Central Excise and regular monitoring.'

But what is the impact of the budget on the health sector ?

The following are some of the highlights

? There is an overall rise, in the funds allocated for healthcare, by 21.9%. The proposed amount for 2007-2008 is Rs.15, 291 Cr, compared to the Rs. 11,366 Cr for the current financial year

? Funding has been increased for National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) from Rs.8207 Cr to Rs.9947 Cr, with particular focus on mother and childcare. Emphasis is also made on the control of communicable diseases like malaria. This move is expected to be a boon on the lower socio-economic group.

? There is also an attempt to merge various nati onal health programmes, such as those taking care of immunization, ante- natal care, nutrition and sanitation

The angavadi centers have been assigned to the helm of affairs.

The finance minister announced that 320,000 Associated Social Health Activists or ASHAs have been recruited, while 20,000 of them have received orientation. This move does indicate a significant boost to rural health in the future. He said: 'With trained ASHAs in place, I am confident there will be significant improvement in healthcare in rural areas. The ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy systems are also being mainstreamed into the health delivery system at all levels.'

? Funds for the National HIV/AIDS control Programme has also been elevated, with1290 Cr ear-marked for the purpose

? The strategy for Polio Elimination has been revised, especially in the light of a fresh outbreak in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. There will be intensive monitoring of the high-risk areas. The number of polio rounds are to be increased and monovalent vaccine is soon to be introduced. This anti-polio programme has been integrated with NRHM, with the ASHAs and the anganawadi workers expected to visit every household, to track each child for immunization.

? An attempt has been made to bring Indian and other complementary forms of medicines into the mainstream.

? The finance minister has also announced a strategy to popularize condomsand make the accessibility of blood screening universal.

? The recent budget has also removed the service tax on clinical trials. According to Dr. Pratap C. Reddy, Chairman of Apollo Hospitals, 'This will help in developing new treatment modalities for patients suffering from various conditions. Coupled with our wide gene pool and excellent resources in the healthcare, IT sectors, India’s chanc es in becoming a favored destination for clinical research will certainly receive a boost'.

? The physically-challenged have been offered One-lakh jobs every year with a salary limit of Rs.25, 000/mth. This will cost the government 150 cr./annum. Besides, to motivate employers to employ the physically challenged, a scheme has been proposed to reward the employer. Under this scheme, the government would reimburse the EPF and ESI for the first three years, once the physically challenged person became a regular employee and got enrolled under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees State Insurance (ESI).

To help with health insurance for senior citizens, Mr.Chidambaram said: 'On December 6, 2006, Rashtrapatiji launched an exclusive health insurance scheme for senior citizens offered by National Insurance Company. I have asked the other three public sector insurance companies to offer a similar product to senior citizens, and they have agreed to do so in 2007-08.'

It must be noted that no declaration was made for developing healthcare infrastructure to promote medical tourism despite the booming trend. However, the budget has tried to improve the overall health scenario, by paying attention to the recent spurt of communicable diseases and by declaring health schemes for the rural folk. It has also attempted to focus on the woman and child health. Sincere intent and supreme efficiency is required, in the implementation of these schemes, in order for the ordinary man to enjoy their benefits.

Related medicine news :

1. Nanotechnology Revolution To Be Spearheaded By European Union
2. Slovenia, Bulgaria, Greece Face Bird Flu Threat: European Union
3. Heart Brakes: Hearts in European Union Invite Health Attention
4. European Union: Poultry producers Need Aid to Survive Bird flu crisis
5. ‘Drug Resistant TB’ Rattles the Union Ministy
6. African Union Launches A Programme On Acceleration of HIV Prevention
7. Union Health Minister visits chikungunya-hit areas in Kerala
8. Impact on Lung function based on exposure
9. Personality Impacts Arthritis
10. Support Services found to Dramatically Impact Pediatric Health Care
11. The Impact of Stress Early In Life
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Dr. Poneh Ghasri, dentist in West Hollywood ... 2015. The research, which was conducted at the Dental Institute at King's College London ... between stress during pregnancy and future dental health in the child. For years, researchers ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Protein is essential to good health. ... bone, and blood. But how much protein does the average man need in order ... according to the October 2015 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch . Most ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Waycross, GA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 ... ... charitable nonprofit promoting the establishment of telemedicine programs in communities throughout Georgia, along ... (FTP) announce the collective schedule for their regional telehealth summits for Fall 2015. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... According to an ESPN report published on ... teammate accidentally elbowed him in the left eye during the first day of practice ... of a series of setbacks, including a knee injury that has interfered with his ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... In an ongoing effort ... , a Southlake, Texas, child development and pediatric therapy center, is working with ... families about their options for receiving this kind of care for affected children. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... Fla. , Oct. 13, 2015   Vigilant ... of solutions that aid in the early detection and ... has awarded Vigilant,s founder and CEO, Matthew H.J. ... Year Award, which recognizes an entrepreneur who has made ... life sciences industry in the leadership of ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE:  WX), a ... serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, ... version of OncoWuXi, the first App in the ... and data on the go.  The OncoWuXi App ... to identify relevant tumor models for use in ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015   Happy Vitals ®, ... home testing kit for breast milk.  The ... an unparalleled, detailed assessment of the nutrition ... carbs and key vitamins—all charted over time ... health tracking.  In addition, Happy Vitals also offers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: