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Overall, A 'Healthy' Budget For A 'Swastha' And Sukhi Bharat: Saurabh Arora Lybrate

Dr. Aggarwal feels that, "The National health protection scheme is a commendable move, which promises to provide Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization"

“This year's budget will particularly concentrate on agriculture and rural economy. We will also focus on promoting education and healthcare,” said the Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the beginning of his Union budget speech today.

“The government has taken special care of the poorer sections of the society in this year’s budget. However, the true benefits that the Aam Aadmi reaps out of this remain to be seen,” highlighted Padma Shri Awardee physician, cardiologist, spiritual writer Dr. K K Aggarwal.

Reactions to Union Budget 2018 which was announced today, are pouring in.

Dr. Aggarwal feels that, "The National health protection scheme is a commendable move, which promises to provide Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization."

He feels that, “This will by far be the world’s largest government-sponsored health programme bringing 50 crore beneficiaries under medical cover. Last year the government proposed setting up of ‘health and wellness centers’ as part of its National Health policy 2017.”

Dr. Aggarwal highlighted that, “Further acting on the vision to fortify India’s health care system, the Budget 2018 aims to establish 1.5 lakh health centers across the nation, which will not only provide essential healthcare services but also free medicines and diagnostic facilities to the needy. This will essentially bring comprehensive healthcare including management of NCDs, maternity and other common illnesses to every doorstep.”

“Like the previous years, this year too the government has pushed for health coverage and insurance. The aim is to have more and more people under the health insurance umbrella. The government has proactively addressed the acute shortage of doctors in the country by initiating to set up at least one medical college for every 3 parliamentary constituencies including one government medical college in each state,” he appreciated and underlined.

Dr Hrishikesh D Pai, Director IVF & Infertility at Fortis La Femme Hospital, Delhi & Former Secretary General of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India. Feels that, “From allocation of more funds under the National Healthcare Programme to the push towards better maternal health through the Ayushman Bharat initiative, is a promising budget this time.”

“Maternal health is of utmost importance and the establishment of two dozen new government medical colleges and hospitals, and up gradation of existing district hospitals will ensure access to better facilities for expectant mothers throughout the country,” he stressed.

Dr. Pai believes that, “Preventive health has received sufficient attention and will ensure timely diagnosis and treatment of NCDs -- diseases responsible for many associated complications such as infertility.”

“Availability of access to free drugs and diagnostic facilities is a major move as well,” he said.

The role of technology in medicine and surgery cannot be ruled out, and Dr. Pai feels that the government has also accorded significant weightage to this area.

“However, what needs to be seen is how the provisions towards affordable and accessible healthcare take shape,” according to him.

Saurabh Arora, Founder & CEO, Lybrate (India’s first and largest online doctor consultation platform) believes that, "The setting up of 24 government medical colleges is likely to address the distorted doctor-patient ratio in the country, which is also a major focal area for Lybrate.

"Overall, a 'healthy' budget for a 'Swastha and Sukhi Bharat," said Arora.

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