The health sector is one of the 2 priority sectors for the AAP Punjab government. As promised, Health has been accorded top priority in the first-ever budget of the AAP government for the FY 2022 -23.

“Changi Sehat sab ton vadi daulat hai.” (Good health is the greatest treasure.) 

“The health of any nation depends on the accessibility of equitable, affordable and accountable healthcare system by its citizens. It is a well-known fact that high out-of-pocket expenses are pushing people into poverty.”

“Our Government would ensure that no one in Punjab is denied basic healthcare facilities and goes untreated due to lack of financial resources.”

 Harpal Singh Cheema, Punjab Finance Minister (Budget 2022-23 speech) (Link)

A – Budget Allocation

The 2022-2023 budget outlay for the health sector with an allocation of ₹4,731 crore is an increase of 23.80% over that of FY 2021-22. 

  • This year, the Government plans to establish 117 Mohalla Clinics for which an initial allocation of ₹77 crore was proposed in the Budget speech. These mohalla clinics (or pind clinics) will provide “last mile delivery” of health services. 
  • Rs 1,033 crore has been allocated for medical education, which is an increase of 56.60% over FY 2021-22.

“Medical Education is a keystone for health care services in any country. Medical Colleges are cradles, which have the potential to produce world class doctors, the paucity of which is being felt with each passing day in India. Secondly, we don’t want our medical students to go to countries like Ukraine to study medicine and therefore promise to provide the best medical education ecosystem in the State. With this objective, our Government proposes to set up 16 New Medical Colleges making total 25 Medical Colleges in the State over a period of next 5 years covering every corner of the State.“ – Harpal Singh Cheema, Punjab Finance Minister (Budget 2022-23 speech)

  • Existing State Government Medical Colleges will be upgraded and MBBS seats in existing colleges will be increased.
    • An initial allocation of Rs. 50 crore has been made for setting up a new medical institute having 100 MBBS seats – “Sant Baba Attar Singh State Institute of Medical Sciences” – in Sangrur.
    • A budget allocation will also be done this year for setting up the start-of-the-art “Punjab Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences” at Sahibzada Ajit Singh (S.A.S) Nagar
  • A scheme similar to Delhi Government’s “Farishte scheme” will be introduced to reduce casualties due to road accidents. Under this scheme, the entire cost of the free treatment of the accident victims would be borne by the government.
  • Budget allocations for various existing health schemes such as Establishment of Trauma Centers, AYUSH, Ayushman Bharat-Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojna, Cancer Raahat Kosh Scheme, Creation of Cancer Treatment Infrastructure and Emergency response Service were also proposed in the Budget Speech. 
  • The Punjab Government proposed an allocation for seed money as its token assistance to the new “Punjab Sikhya Te Sehat” trust fund which will be opened to enable NRIs to contribute to Punjab’s development initiatives. 
  • 2 super specialty Hospitals are proposed to be set up in Patiala and Faridkot within 2 years and 3 more by 2027.
  • An Estate Management Unit (EMU) will be set up to look into the maintenance of the basic sub-structure needs of Hospitals/Health facilities.

In just 5 months after forming the government, the AAP Punjab government had already released a fund of Rs. 1262.22 crore out of the total budget of Rs. 4731.34 crore for the financial year 2022-23.

On 18th Aug 2022, the Punjab Finance Department gave approval for the release of Rs. 11.21 crore to the Health and Family Welfare Department under National Rural Health Mission and National Urban Health Mission – 668.50 lakh for National Rural Health Mission and Rs 452.50 for National Urban Health Mission.

By 18th Aug 2022, the government had also released 40.42 percent of the total budget for the Medical Education and Research department.

(Updated till 23rd Sep 2022)

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