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Pre Budget Quote. Expectations from the Healthcare Industry Inbox x

"While in the recent months, the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to improve healthcare delivery models and infrastructure, as well as taken solid steps to move towards its vision of “universal healthcare for all”, there is still a lot more that remains to be done. For instance, accommodating tertiary care within the banner of Ayushman Bharat should be prioritized in the upcoming Budget, and the benefits of this scheme should be extended to more eligible Indians. Another suggestion is that out-patient consultations should be put under the aegis of health insurance cover to make it more accessible to rural Indians. Reducing the amount of taxes levied on medical equipments and technologies should be another area of consideration.

In the upcoming Budget, focus should also be enhanced on increasing the number of specialists and qualitative improvement of infrastructure facilities, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 towns and remote regions. Besides, favourable policy frameworks should be adapted towards innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in the health sector, specialized health education, and healthcare ICT tools and devices; in my opinion, focusing attention on these areas will reap rich dividends for stakeholders. Besides, in the wake of the rising medical cost inflation, increasing the upper limit of tax exemption on preventive health checkups can be a great respite for the common man.

It is high time to address the severe shortage of specialist talent and high-end infrastructure in healthcare. Incentives for constant skilling and upskilling initiatives of healthcare personnel, both in public and private healthcare facilities, will lead to better services paralleled with a humane approach. Reduction of GST rates on life-saving drugs can pave the way for affordable medicine, and adequate tax holidays and concessions for health entrepreneurs, R&D, etc. can usher a golden era of innovation-driven healthcare in our country. The viability of various preventive and treatment projects in public private partnership model needs to be explored effectively."

By : Dr. Saarthak Bakshi, CEO & Co Founder, International Fertility Centre.

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