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11th February 2023 (7 Topics)

Centre to borrow Rs 13,879 crore to boost health infrastructure

Context

The Indian government has signed loan agreements with ADB, JICA and World Bank to borrow up to Rs 13,879 crore to strengthen health infrastructure from international agencies, as per a written reply in Lok Sabha.

Details 

  • Loan agreements have been signed with
    • Asian Development Bank (ADB) for $300 million (Rs 2,474 crore)
    • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for 50 billion Japanese Yen (Rs 3,162 crore)
  • In addition, the World Bank has approved $1 billion (Rs 8,243 crore) in IBRD loans for Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).
    • IBRD is the lending arm of the World Bank.
  • The loan agreements have been signed to augment PM-ABHIM which was launched on October 25, 2021, with an outlay of about Rs 64,180 crore (till FY 2025-26) to strengthen healthcare infrastructure across the country.

Important Government initiatives promoting Healthcare Sector

  • National Health Mission: The government provides financial assistance to States and Union Territories to set up and upgrade health infrastructure under National Health Mission (NHM)
  • Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM): PM-ABHIM was launched to ensure quality healthcare services in addition to NHM. This is to increase investment in health infrastructure and fill gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care and primary care facilities in both urban and rural areas.
  • National telemedicine services (eSanjeevani): It is a national telemedicine service to provide free-of-cost teleconsultations to citizens. In less than three years, it has become the world’s largest government-owned telemedicine platform. 
  • Other important initiatives
    • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
    • National Medical Commission
    • PM National Dialysis Programme
    • Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK)
    • Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)

How Budget promoted Healthcare?

  • The 2023-24 budget incorporated one of the most fundamental changes in healthcare required to transform the sector.
  • The Union Budget 2023-24 has included the establishment of 157 new nursing colleges in co-location with the current medical colleges. 
  • Further, the finance minister announced the government’s mission of eliminating sickle cell anaemia by 2047. 

To enable these initiatives, the health sector was allocated Rs. 89,155 crores in the 2023-24 union budge

 

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