Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced an ambitious and probably world’s largest health protection scheme in his Union Budget 2018-19.
Under the National Health Protection Scheme, the government will provide Rs 5 lakh per family every year for secondary and tertiary hospital care. “This will be world’s largest health protection scheme,” said Arun Jaitley.
The National Health Protection Scheme aims to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. According to the Finance Minister, this scheme will effectively cover 50 crore beneficiaries.
Announcing the scheme, Arun Jaitley said the government has decided to take “healthcare protection to new aspirational level”. “The government is slowly but steadily progressing towards universal health coverage,” the Finance Minister said.
Health and insurance sector are likely to benefit from the Narendra Modi government’s mega health protection scheme. Stocks of health and insurance sectors have started surging minutes after Arun Jaitley’s big announcement.
In another major push to healthcare, the Finance Minister said that the government also plans to upgrade 24 district-level medical colleges to ensure that there is at least one government medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies.
The Union Budget 2018 holds much importance for the present government as it is the last federal budget before the Lok Sabha elections next year.