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Unveiling the final Union Budget of the NDA Government for the current electoral term, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley lived up to the government’s promise of delivering schemes universal health coverage.

The launch of National Health Protection scheme only cemented that. Offering wide coverage to 10 crore people from poor and vulnerable households, this ambitious programme is pushed as largest public-funded insurance policy in the world. A sum of up to Rs. 5 lakhs per annum per family, expecting to cover 50 crore beneficiaries, will be given.

Ayushman Bharat is another initiative, focusing on maternal and child care services. Government has okayed setting up of 12 new hospitals and medical schools, not to mention taken steps to upgrade the primary healthcare centres in each district under the scheme. The Budget 2018 has allocated Rs. 1200 crore to set up health centres in rural areas. Rs. 600 crore is set aside to address the increased burden of TB treatment and aftercare – a patient can claim Rs. 500 per month for the treatment.

Aside from bettering access to quality healthcare, the grand scheme also opens wider employment prospects. New institutions and facilities will call for skilled staffs in respective roles, which can really alleviate India’s unemployment problems. Jaitley requested the private companies and corporates to support the government’s initiatives through CSR activities.

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