Mukherjee allocates more for health, focus on rural populace

New Delhi, Feb 26 (Calcutta Tube) India’s health allocation has gone up by Rs.2,700 crore to Rs.22,300 crore (Rs.223 billion/$4.82 billion) with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee particularly focussing on rural heath in his budget speech Friday.

‘I propose to increase the plan allocation for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from Rs.19,534 crore to Rs.22,300 crore for 2010-11,’ the finance minister said in his budget presented in parliament.

He also announced that an annual health survey would be carried out to prepare the district health profile of the rural populace.

‘The findings of the survey should be of immense benefit to major public health initiatives, particularly the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which has successfully addressed the gaps in the delivery of critical health services in rural areas,’ he said.

The flagship programme of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the NRHM, was launched in 2005. The aim was to improve availability and access to quality healthcare for people living in remote areas.

The main focus is on 18 states that have weak public health infrastructure – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

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