Srinagar: Health expenditure in Jammu and Kashmir has nearly doubled in the last five years.
As per figures, from Rs 573.12 crore in 2018, the annual expenditure in the health sector under the National Health Mission has increased to Rs 917.02 crore in 2022.In the years 2019, the annual expenditure in the health sector in the union territory was Rs 662.56 crore, which increased to Rs 779.61 crore in 2021.Figures suggest that the annual health expenditure in Jammu and Kashmir is more than many states including Goa (Rs84.64Cr), Himachal (Rs567.83Cr), Meghalaya (Rs319.08Cr), and Uttarakhand (Rs319.08Cr).As per data, the centre in the last five years also released Rs 237.02 crore to Jammu and Kashmir under Ayushman Bharat –Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).The annual funding under this scheme has increased by more than 24 percent in the last five years.As per data, against Rs 20.64 crore in 2018, the centre released Rs 85.62 crore last year.This year so far, Rs 3.25 crore has been released by the Centre under Jammu and Kashmir.Under the Human Resource for Health and Medical Education scheme, the government has also released Rs 1173.5 crore for seven new medical colleges established in the union territory to upgrade health infrastructure.Pertinently, Jammu and Kashmir’s health sector has received its highest-ever budgeted allocation of Rs 2097.53 crore in the budget this year.In contrast to the provision of Rs 1882 crore for health and medical education during 2022–2023, the financial allocation for the health sector has grown by Rs 215 crore. The total budgetary allotment for health and medical education for the fiscal year 2023-24 is Rs 2097.5 crore.A top official said that the government has prioritized the health sector in Jammu and Kashmir by increasing the fund allocation and upgrading infrastructure through various centre schemes. “We are witnessing a good investment in the health sector by the private companies as well. The government is currently focussing on enhancing the health sector by upgrading existing institutes and equipping them with modern equipment, and bolstering the availability of essential medicines,” he said.