Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced ₹23,220 crore for public health sector for setting up paediatric beds and facilities in hospitals. She announced this for the public health sector, earmarked for this financial year, which will focus on emergency preparedness with a special emphasis on children and paediatric care. It will also focus on funding of medical HR augmentation through nurses and staff and doctors, equipment and ambulances, oxygen plants.
Nirmala Sitharaman announced a credit guarantee scheme of Rs 1.1 lakh crore for the COVID-affected sectors, which includes Rs 50,000 crore for scaling up medical infrastructure in non-metro cities and Rs 60,000 crore for other sectors.
The monetary support to upgrade public health infrastructure with a special focus on children comes ahead of an impending COVID-19 third wave, which is said to affect children more. The funding would, ” enhance testing capacity and supportive diagnostic, strengthen capacity for surveillance and genome sequencing,” the finance minister added.