Healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat to be extended to ASHA, anganwadi workers 

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Healthcare cover under the Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme will be extended to all Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and anganwadi workers and helpers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while presenting the interim Budget for 2024-2025 on Thursday.

Sitharaman also said the government plans to set up more medical colleges by utilising existing hospital infrastructure and will form a committee to examine the matter. The allocation for Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) has been hiked from Rs 6,800 crore to Rs 7,500 crore in the interim budget.

The finance minister also said the government will encourage vaccination for girls in the age group of 9-14 years for the prevention of cervical cancer. Various schemes for maternal and child healthcare will be brought under one comprehensive programme for synergy in implementation, Sitharaman said in Parliament.

“Several youth are ambitious to get qualified as doctors. They aim to serve our people through improved healthcare services. Our government plans to set up more medical colleges by utilising the existing hospital infrastructure under various departments.

“A committee for this purpose will be set up to examine the issues and make relevant recommendations,” Sitharaman said.

The newly designed U-WIN platform for managing immunisation and intensified efforts of the Mission Indradhanush will be rolled out expeditiously throughout the country, she said.