New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the second full-fledged budget of Modi government's second term, today, at 11 am. In the budget, the government is expected to make big announcements to better the conditions of government hospitals. Lack of state-of-the-art medical facilities has emerged as a major problem in Rajasthan's Kota and other states' hospitals, which the government aims to improve in the budget. 

The government has set its priority to improve the condition of government hospitals after the decision to open 75 new medical colleges in the country and drastic increase in the number of students in existing medical colleges to overcome the shortage of doctors.

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Under the National Health Mission by the central government, state governments are being assisted to provide medical facilities in government hospitals. But after the lack of necessary medical facilities in the Kota hospital and medical devices did not work properly and the lack of staff came to the fore, the government felt the need to further increase this support and monitor their use in hospitals. For this, the finance minister can announce a scheme to overcome these problems.

Providing the best medical facilities to the common people has been a priority of the Modi government. For this, two years ago, an ambitious scheme like Ayushman Bharat was announced to provide free and cashless treatment to more than 50 crore poor people in the budget. So far, more than 70 lakh poor have been treated under this scheme. Along with this, the work of opening one and a half lakh wellness centres across the country is also going on to bring state-of-the-art testing facilities to the common people by 2022. But under Ayushman Bharat, only serious diseases have treatment facilities in secondary or tertiary category hospitals.

In fact, the Modi government has set an ambitious target of increasing the medical budget in the 2017 National Health Policy. Under this, the medical budget has to reach 2.5 per cent of total GDP by 2015. In view of this, the allocation of the medical sector was increased from Rs 55,959 crore to Rs 64,559 crores in the budget last year. But still, the budgetary allocation is not more than one per cent of GDP. Apparently, within the next five years, the beginning of an increase in budgetary allocation by two and a half times is also expected from this year’s budget.

Rs 5,38,305 crores needed to improve the health care facilities in public hospitals

In the next five years, Rs 5,38,305 crore will be required to provide infrastructural facilities for priority medical care in the country. The Health Ministry has placed this demand before the 15th Finance Commission. According to the presentation given by the Ministry of Health, there is a huge lack of infrastructure in priority medicine in the country.

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The infrastructure for the wellness centre, the shortage of health workers, the smooth running of the National Ambulance Service, as well as the massive amount of money needed for testing equipment and medicines. The Finance Commission has asked the Ministry of Health to prepare a fresh proposal for this in collaboration with NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul.

Posted By: Talib Khan