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Budget 2024 and India’s Progress

Context:

In the evolutionary and historical life cycle, transformative moments occur, and India has experienced a decade of significant change. It has progressed from an underdeveloped state to a developing nation and is currently recognized as the fastest-growing economy globally. India stands out as an economic beacon, consistently achieving a growth rate of 7%, surpassing the 2.5% growth seen in other world economies.

Relevance:

GS2- Health

GS3-

  • Mobilization of Resources
  • Growth and Development
  • Government Budgeting

Mains Question:

The Budget 2024 reflected the aspirations of a new India by laying out the immense opportunity ahead of us. Analyse. (15 Marks, 250 Words).

India’s Remarkable Progress:

  • India’s remarkable acceleration has resulted in a meaningful present and holds the promise of a bright future.
  • India’s space program has garnered global admiration, showcasing the nation’s prowess.
  • Additionally, the country has adeptly navigated the delicate balance between renewable and non-renewable energy sources, surpassing other nations in terms of achieving targets.
  • The buoyancy in both metrics and spirit was palpable in the Interim Budget as well. The budget reflected the aspirations of a new India by outlining the immense opportunities that lie ahead.

Budget 2024:

Preventive Health Checks:

About:

  • Preventive healthcare involves measures aimed at averting diseases rather than treating them. In India, the preventive healthcare sector is experiencing significant growth, with the country’s total preventive healthcare market now valued at over $800 million.
  • The healthcare industry encompasses various components such as hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance, and medical equipment. India’s healthcare delivery system is divided into two main segments – public and private.
  • The public healthcare system primarily consists of limited secondary and tertiary care institutions located in key cities, with a focus on offering basic healthcare facilities through Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in rural areas.
  • In contrast, the private sector plays a dominant role in providing secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care institutions, with a significant concentration in metros, tier-I, and tier-II cities.
  • Preventive health checks are essential for any nation to avoid the economic burden of citizens falling ill. Emphasizing healthy living and preventive healthcare is crucial.

Measures Targeting Preventive Health Care:

  • The initiative in the Interim Budget to promote Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among young girls to prevent cervical cancer is commendable.
  • Similar measures can be implemented for various cancers and all non-communicable diseases, significantly reducing India’s overall disease burden.
  • The government needs to be encouraged to consider offering incentives for individuals to undergo preventive health checks.
  • India has made impressive advancements in health indicators over the past four decades, evident in the decline in infant and maternal mortality rates.
  • The Budget appropriately prioritizes maternal and child healthcare, recognizing the importance of their well-being. A healthy mother and child contribute to increased women’s participation in the workforce.
  • Life expectancy has risen from 53 years to 70 years in the last four decades, achieved with less than a 2% budgetary allocation for health.
  • If this allocation is increased to 5%, substantial progress can be made in achieving improved population health outcomes.

Innovation Revolution:

  • Establishing the groundwork for an innovation revolution, the government has identified ‘innovation’ as a crucial pillar for contemporary development.
  • To support this vision, a fund of ₹1 lakh crore has been earmarked, offering interest-free loans for 50 years.
  • This initiative aims to provide long-term financial support to the private sector, facilitating investments in research and technology.
  • The incorporation of technology has the potential to generate a substantial and widespread impact across various sectors.
  • In the realm of healthcare, enhanced technological collaborations can extend our reach, improving access to quality care.
  • This approach addresses challenges such as the imbalanced doctor-patient ratio and has the potential to significantly reduce healthcare costs.

Medical Tourism:

  • The Interim Budget addressed the influence of tourism stemming from religious and iconic sites and has allocated resources for States to promote this aspect extensively.
  • However, another dimension of tourism, namely healthcare or ‘medical value travel,’ is progressively gaining attention and becoming a significant motivation for travel.
  • Over the past decade, we have witnessed a transformation in this landscape, with ‘Heal in India’ reaching new heights.
  • India’s exceptional talent and globally recognized standards of clinical outcomes have positioned the country as an attractive healthcare destination worldwide.
  • Moreover, the potential for improved connectivity through new railway corridors, additional airports, and air routes holds the promise of granting Indians easier access to quality healthcare.

Conclusion:

Beyond the explicit budgetary allocations, the noteworthy aspects include the surge in private expenditure, increased consumption, and the underlying theme that the private sector has surpassed expectations, playing a meaningful role not only in the economy but also in shaping our lives. With continued collaborative efforts, India has the potential to truly become limitless.


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