National tele mental health programme

Healthcare experts have welcomed the Centre’s announcement of a National Tele Mental Health Programme, especially in view of the long COVID, but highlighted that the Union Budget did not give adequate attention to other critical issues such as incentives for health insurance and skill development.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Budget-2022-23, said the programme will be launched to improve access to quality mental health counselling and care services which will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, consent framework, and universal access to health facilities.

Dr Girdhar Gyani, Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers (India), said the government’s intent of focusing on setting up 23-mental health centres will be beneficial in general and more specifically for long COVID patients.

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