June 24, 2024

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Interim Budget 2024: Health experts laud focus on medical education | Pune News

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Several among the healthcare sector have appreciated the Union Budget 2024 for its focus on bolstering medical education in the country.

Dr. Rajendra Patankar, CEO- Jupiter Hospital, said that the focus on bolstering medical education in the country, with plans to establish additional medical colleges using existing hospital infrastructure, is promising and aligns with the evolving healthcare needs. Overall, the budget sets positive intentions, and I look forward to witnessing its transformative impact on public health and the medical landscape,” Dr Patankar said.

Abrarali Dalal, Director and CEO, Sahyadri Hospitals Pvt Ltd said that this year’s union budget was a testament to the government’s dedication to improving public health in the country. “The focus on establishing more medical colleges will help in utilising existing medical infrastructure and creating quality professionals in healthcare.

On Maternal and child care initiatives, extending healthcare under Ayushman Bharat

Experts have also lauded the move to improve nutrition, early childhood care, and development through maternal and child care initiatives like ‘Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0’ I. “This is a crucial step toward a healthier society,” Dr Patankar said.

Festive offer

According to Dalal the consolidation of maternal and child healthcare schemes into a comprehensive program, alongside the expedited upgradation of Anganwadi centers and the rollout of the U-Win platform, reflects a holistic approach towards ensuring the well-being of women and children. “Extending healthcare coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers, and Helpers highlights a commitment to holistic healthcare for women, children, and healthcare workers nationwide. These measures underscore a dedication to comprehensive well-being in the healthcare sector,” Dr Patankar added.

On free HPV vaccines

Behram Khodaiji, CEO of Ruby Hall Clinic said that the decision to provide free HPV vaccines for girls between 9-14 years in the budget is a critical step in promoting the health and well-being of young girls in our community. “By making these vaccines more accessible, we are taking a proactive approach to preventing HPV-related health issues in the future. This decision not only benefits the individuals receiving the vaccine but also serves to protect the broader population from the spread of HPV. Investing in the health of our young girls is an investment in the future of our society, as the budget focuses on poor, women and youth who are the pillars of our country,” he said.

Dr Sanjay Gupte, former President of Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India said the government should ensure that the vaccination is made available at the school levels while Dr Smita Joshi, senior scientist with the Prayas health group urged that more women should undergo HPV screening.

There has not been any increase in the health budget compared to last year, says Dr Anant Phadke, senior health activist and among the coordinators of the Jan Arogya Abhiyaan. “Compared to the previous year’s allocation, this year’s Rs. 92803 crores is more by a mere 1.6%. The inflation in 2023 is 3.4%. Thus there is a decrease and not an increase! The National Health Policy 2017 laid down that the combined expenditure of the central and state governments on health services should be 2.5% of the GDP, 40% of this by the Central Govt, i.e. about 1% of the GDP compared to the allocation of only 0.31% in the last many years! Central allocation for health of 1% of the GDP, would require a health budget today of around Rs. 3.28 lakh crores. However, this year’s allocation is Rs. 94371 crores, almost 1/4 th of the requirement,” he said.


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