New Delhi: The health sector has been given "top" priority and there has been a "sizable" increase of 21 per cent in this year's budget allocation, the government on Tuesday said.
"Health has been given top priority. A high allocation for health has been given in this year's budget. Providing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and reaching out to the poor and vulnerable which is this NDA government's commitment, I think this budget will be helpful in taking that forward," Union Health Minister J P Nadda said.
He said that from last year's budget, there has been a 21 per cent increase which is "sizable". Last year, budget allocation was Rs 25,946 crore while this year, Rs 31,300 crore has been allocated, Nadda said.
He said that this was perhaps the first in several years where a Revised Estimate (RE) was not reduced in relation to the Budget Estimate (BE).
He said that there was an increased allocation for the Ministry at the RE stage to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore while the spending this year has been more than 90 per cent of the budget.
It is because of our constant effort and monitoring that the expenditure in the states has really picked up, he said.
Nadda said that under National Health Mission (NHM), there has been an increase of Rs 705 crore while the medical education sector has also witnessed an increase in its budget by Rs 1,263 crore.
The Minister said that this is in addition to the total budgetary allocation of Rs 5,429 crore to this sector. He said that for AIIMS in New Delhi, apart from the allocation of Rs 1,000, an additional Rs 450 crore has been allocated.
Nadda said that there has also been an additional allocation of Rs 244 crore for the new AIIMS which are coming up while for the tertiary schemes which includes cancer and other diseases, Rs 725 crore has been provided.
In the human resource sector, budgetary allocation of Rs 600 crore has been given, Nadda said.