Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan twitter

The Government of India has recently released a comprehensive list of Budget 2021 announcements along with their statuses of implementation. The Budget of 2021 has incited much excitement in the minds of Indians. Many have lauded the government’s initiatives for a better India and expressed their apprehension about their follow-ups. This year, the Indian Government has prioritized Healthcare and Well-being among the six proposed pillars of developmental goals. Here’s all that you need to know about the status of our nation’s healthcare system-

On the Budget 2021 address, the government officials have indicated the increase in the use of machine learning and AI in the recently announced Ayushman Bharat scheme. This is a move to ensure that health authorities along with the medical fraternity can effectively target diseases with a well-organized preventive regime. Officials have confirmed its application in several sections of the healthcare system. The National Anti-Fraud Unit of NHA utilizes artificial intelligence as well as machine learning techniques and models to ensure an advanced level of security. These standard AI and machine learning-aided treatment workflow systems are also being used for the diagnosis of diseases and better preventive measures.

Under the “TB Harega Desh Jeetega” campaign, the Government has promised to strengthen its efforts in ending Tuberculosis by 2025. The Minister of Health & Family Welfare has conveyed the campaign’s message to the Governors and Lt. Governors of all the states and UTs. 30 meetings have already been conducted in 13 states and UTs to review the campaign. Moreover, 10 states and UTs have already designed a plan of action to combat the spread of TB and effectively end it by 2025. All MPs have been requested to oversee the campaign’s implementation in their respective constituencies. Keeping the pandemic in mind, the government has asked all states and UTs to ensure uninterrupted implementation of the National TB Elimination Program, highlighting that the treatment and care of notified TB patients should, in no way, be affected and detection of new cases should progress as advised.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has affirmed that henceforth, the National Board of Examination would be imparting post-graduate medical qualifications along with diplomas and fellowships of the National Board (DNB/FNB). The government has encouraged large hospitals with considerable capacities to offer their resident doctors DNB/FNB courses under the supervision of the National Board of Examinations. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has mandated the promotion of PG medical education under the watchful eyes of the National Board of Examination. To ensure the same, fast-tracked expansion of the DNB program along with the introduction of 8 new diploma courses with a standard stipend assistance for the DNB students have been proposed.

The Budget of 2021 has brought the scarcity of nurses, teachers, paramedical staff, and caregivers abroad to the forefront. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in association with the Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has requested skill-enhancements to meet the foreign employers’ standards. A special bridge course has been proposed to create an equivalent of abroad medical skill parameters. The Ministry has called for special training packages to ensure that the medical candidates meet the language criteria of foreign facilities. In order to oversee the development of high-quality educational standards among medical professionals, the Government has allotted a budget overlay of Rs. 99,300 crores to the Education sector. Moreover, another Rs. 3,000 crores have been assigned for skill development. The Indian Government held a video conference with the Health Education department of England and several other relevant officials on December 15, 2020, to discuss the scope of careers in the health sector. Communication to employment agencies and regulatory boards regarding the same is still in the process of implementation. Indian authorities have conducted multiple interactions with stakeholders across the world, discussing the mapping of jobs in the health sector and the issues pertaining to it.

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has partnered with the Indian Nursing Council (INC) to oversee the creation of a special bridge course of 3 months by the name of ‘Nursing Competency Enhancement Bridge Program’. The program aims to aid Indian nurses and midwives in their transition to overseas career placements. The ‘Nursing Competency Enhancement Bridge Program’ promises to impart a thorough understanding of knowledge and skill-sets along with nursing practices and language requirements of the country where they would be serving as a medical professional. The INC has confirmed the notification on August 24, 2020.

The Indian Government has been making unprecedented alterations to the Healthcare sector and the Budget of 2021 is but an evidence of the efforts put forward by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in combatting the shortcomings of the vulnerable medical system in the country. The Budget of 2021 gives us hope for a better future where our nation would be well-equipped to tackle any ailment that comes our way.