Home / Opinion / Views /  Health budget opens avenues in research and skilling

The health sector has been allocated 89,155 crore in the Union Budget, 3% higher than 86,200 crore allocated in the 2022-23 Budget. Out of 89,155 crore, 86,175 crore has been allocated to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, while 2,980 crore has been allocated to the Department of Health Research. The budget allocation is 13% higher than the revised estimates ( 76,370 crore) of health expenditure in 2022-23.

The Union Budget makes a very significant announcement about scaling up the infrastructure for nursing education in India. The covid pandemic reminded all countries about the need to invest in building capacities among the health workforce. The addition of such a large number of nursing colleges is bound to result in a greater number of well-trained nurses that will graduate and contribute to the health of citizens. This announcement for co-location of nursing education with medicine will permit greater interdisciplinary education and training. This will provide an additional impetus in our march towards Universal Health Coverage that is closer to the citizens. The Health and Wellness Centre driven activities can be further enhanced through competent nursing staff. This move to create additional nursing capacity within the country augurs well for the future.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has an excellent network of institutions spread across the breadth of the country. The willingness to collaborate and share these valuable resources for fulfilling the research needs, within the public and private sector, is a game-changer. This has the potential to bring about a research-driven culture in the health sector. The ICMR will continue to play an important role as an invaluable resource, both through its human capital and its infrastructure. 

The determinants of good health lie in the social sectors. It is encouraging to see attention in the budget towards food systems, sustainable agriculture, and sanitation. The attention to millets is timely and the encouragement of health promoting foods will also have trickle down effects on marginal farmers. Broader attention towards agriculture will also help the public health cause in assuring access to good nutrition and improving child survival. The scientific management of dry and wet waste in urban areas will contribute towards healthier surroundings, especially important for reducing the transmission of diseases.

Sickle cell anaemia management has the potential to address geographical and social inequities in the population. This activity if undertaken in mission mode will build upon the successes of addressing priority health concerns.  

We would like to see skilling efforts highlighted in the budget to extend to the health sector, wherein we systematically build transferable skills to address health concerns of the future. 

The health system in India will have to respond to the health aspirations of its citizens. The foundation blocks of sound infrastructure along with adequate and well-trained human resource can transform health and realise the full potential of a healthy population. The budget has focused on infrastructure and skill-development. We are certain that these will yield positive dividends in the near future. 

Sanjay Zodpey is the President, Public Health Foundation of India.


Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout