The new health insurance proposal opens the government’s purse strings to private interests.
Even as schemes have received minimal allocations, this budget signals an important shift in the political narrative. Gone is the focus on jobs, skills, aspirations and empowerment.
Vinod Dua breaks down the Union Budget 2018.
According to the opposition, the budget is mere ‘lip-service paid in the name of the farmers and the poor’ and will not have any real impact.
The federal finance ministry in August renewed the National Health Mission with $20 billion of funding between 2017-20, against the health ministry’s estimated requirement of $25 billion.
Report looks at 26 years of health data in India to see trends in diseases and risks in every state. The conclusion is that large health inequalities exist among states.
The Budget allocation for the health sector is not even one-third of the target laid out in the draft National Health Policy.
Despite emphasis on ’empowerment’ over ‘entitlements’, which comes with its own set of problems, health and education remain invisible in the Modi government’s social policy agenda.
Even when several government departments and ministries collect data across institutions and other stakeholders, these are not in line with standard definitions.
The statewide ban on emergency contraceptive pills, now in its tenth year, is a violation of constitutional principles.
When entitlements are denied or reduced, we instinctively turn to the constitution but the constitution itself is wide open to interpretation as per the ideological orientations and personal beliefs of those in power.
Arun Jaitley’s Budget was high of rhetoric, but this doesn’t quite add up to a clear vision and narrative for social policy.
When the data tells us insurance-based health schemes have not reduced out-of-pocket expenditure for the poor, Jaitley’s budgetary focus should have been on boosting public provision of health care.
The award was bagged by Youyou Tu for her discovery of artemisinin and by William Campbell and Satoshi Omura for discovering Ivermectin, a drug used to cure river blindness.