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Health sector grant of Rs. 8,453 Cr released to local bodies of 19 states

The Department of Expenditure under Ministry of Finance has released an amount of over 8,453 crore rupees as health sector grant for rural and urban local bodies of 19 States. The grants have been released as per therecommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.

The Fifteenth Finance Commission in its Report for the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26 has recommended a total grant of 4,27,911 crore rupees to local governments. The grants recommended by the Commission include health grants of 70,051 crore rupees. Out of this amount, 43,928 crore rupees have been recommended for Rural Local Bodies and 26,123 crore rupees for Urban Local Bodies.

These grants are meant to strengthen health systems and plug the critical gaps in the health care system at the primary health care level. The Commission has also identified interventions that will directly lead to strengthening the primary health infrastructure and facilities in both rural and urban areas and has earmarked grants for each intervention.

The interventions are, 16,377 crore rupees support for diagnostic infrastructure to the primary healthcare facilities in rural areas, 5 thousand 279 crore rupees for block-level public health units in rural areas, 7,167 crore rupees for construction of buildings of building-less Sub centres, PHCs, CHCs in rural areas, 15,105 crore rupees for conversion of rural PHCs and sub centres into health and wellness centre, 2,095 crore rupees support for diagnostic infrastructure to the primary healthcare facilities in urban areas and 24,028 crore rupees for Urban health and wellness centres.

Health grants recommended to be released in the financial year 2021-22 is 13,192 crore rupees. This includes 8,273 crore rupees for Rural and 4,919 crore rupees for Urban Local Bodies.

Finance Ministry said, rural and urban local bodies can play a key role in the delivery of primary health care services especially at the cutting edge level and help in achieving the objective of Universal Health Care. It said, strengthening the local governments in terms of resources, health infrastructure and capacity building can enable them to play a catalytic role in epidemics and pandemics too.

Involving Panchayati Raj institutions and Urban Local Government as supervising agencies in these primary health care institutions would strengthen the overall primary health care system and involvement of local governments would also make the health system accountable to the people.

The Ministry said, health grants to the remaining nine States will be released after their proposals are received from the States through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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