Nirmala Sitharaman increases outlay for AIIMS by Rs. 310 croreLast updated on Feb 03, 2021, 12:07 am
The All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) took a bright spot in the Union Budget as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave it an additional Rs. 310 crore.
Last year, the government had approved an outlay of Rs. 3,490 crore for the prestigious facility in New Delhi; this year that number is Rs. 3,800 crore.
The health sector, in general, got the much-needed boost.
'An increased outlay will help transform hospital for better'
Welcoming the increase, doctors said the money will be used to ramp up infrastructure, that the hospital is in dire need of.
"There is a large-scale expansion of infrastructure taking place at AIIMS. An increased outlay will help complete that and transform the hospital for the better," a senior doctor told TOI.
AIIMS plans to push surgery and geriatric blocks into operation soon.
Centre treated other hospitals similarly, Safdarjung's budget swelled as well
Further, Safdarjung Hospital's outlay saw an increase from Rs. 1,318 crore to Rs. 1,515 crore; Ram Manohar Lohia has been allocated Rs. 950 crore; whereas Lady Hardinge Medical College and Sucheta Kriplani Hospital received Rs. 600 crore and Rs. 145 crore respectively.
In total, Rs. 2,23,846 crore was set aside for "health and well-being," an increase of 137%.
The government plans to take a holistic approach toward healthcare
As she made the announcement in the Parliament that the Budget for health and well-being has been increased, Sitharaman also explained that the government will take a holistic approach.
The focus, she said, would be on three areas namely preventive health, curative health, and well-being.
"Progressively, as institutions absorb more, we shall commit more," the Finance Minister assured.
'Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat' scheme announced to strengthen healthcare
Sitharaman's Budget also announced the launch of a new scheme, named PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat, which aims to upgrade primary, secondary, and tertiary care health systems, strengthen the existing systems, as well as create new institutions.
Rs. 64,180 crore was announced for this initiative.
Separately, the Finance Minister provided Rs. 35,000 crore for coronavirus vaccination, saying that she will give more funds if required.
What she said
Healthcare infrastructure not just about building hospitals: Sitharaman
Speaking on the Budget, Sitharaman said the coronavirus pandemic taught us that health infrastructure is not just restricted to the number of hospitals.
She explained that while establishing institutions like AIIMS is important, improving critical care at district levels and testing labs is equally significant to handle unexpected pandemics.
"Health-related capex is for block, urban body, panchayat level, and state levels," she revealed.