Union Budget 2021 on Healthcare Industry
Post Union Budget Reaction from the Healthcare Sector Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021-2022 in the Parliament on Monday. This year’s budget has been promising for the Healthcare Sector amidst the pandemic. There
Post Union Budget Reaction from the Healthcare Sector
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021-2022 in the Parliament on Monday. This year’s budget has been promising for the Healthcare Sector amidst the pandemic. There has been an increase of 137% in the overall Health Budget as compared to the previous year. FM announced the PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with an outlay of Rs. 64,180 crore over a period of next six years. The budget also mentioned to boost Integrated Public Health Labs and National Health Centre for Diseases Control soon to benefit the Healthcare sector. Today’s budget has evoked multiple reactions from the experts of India’s Healthcare sector.
Budget Reaction by Indian Medical Devices Industry
Union Budget 2021 –A Very Encouraging & Promising Budget Given the Pandemic
Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD)
The Indian Medical Devices Industry has responded positively to Union Budget 2021.
Hailing the Union budget 2021, Mr. Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator of Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) said “Sometimes a crisis helps to come out with bolder decisions. Major fillip to Healthcare through PM Atmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojna, PLI Scheme, Health Infra allocation, focus on new & emerging diseases & health labs will surely address major gaps.
Finally we may have something to help accelerate medical devices manufacturing as a Make in India enabler so that Indian National Healthcare security concerns are addressed – the inadequacy of which is being exposed in the crisis to address the coronavirus epidemic preparedness. We look forward to read the fine print.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sharing a holistic vision of healthcare announced :
• 137% increase in health budget.
• PM Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat to be launched with an outlay of 64,180 Cr over 6 years. Huge intervention in India’s healthcare journey.
• Pneumococcal vaccine to be rolled out across the country to avert 50,000 child deaths annually. 35,000 crore for vaccine has been given and has committed to provide more
• Support for wellness centres
➢ Setting up health labs
➢ Critical care hospital blocs in districts
➢ Strengthening disease control surveillance & Strengthening of NCDC
➢ Onehealth centre for WHO regional office
“Rest we will be able to comment on after going through the fine prints on Custom duty on Medical Devices and withdrawal of many related exemptions that were being road blocks to Make in India as it was simply being cheaper and more convenient to import than manufacture.”
We had been hoping that this will be a Make in India push budget for an Atmanirbhar Bharat and though the FM has highlighted the need to support manufacturing sector to be part of global supply chain and need for it to grow on double digit sustained basis, we, The Indian Medical Device Industry are disappointed not to notice any changes in custom duty as done for other sectors and are very hopeful that the fine print of the Union Budget would have possibly acted upon our recommendations on a Predictable Tariff Policy for a Make in India push for Phased Manufacturing Plan for Components and Finished Medical Devices and allocations for Testing infrastructure as well as for MedTech Parks and Cluster developments. Supporting Policies are needed so that Indian Medical Devices Industry can make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for common masses, aim to place place India among the Top 5 Medical Devices manufacturing hubs worldwide and help end the 85% import dependence forced upon us and an ever increasing import bill of over Rs. 42000 Crore .” Concluded Mr. Nath.
CEO, Wadia Hospital, Mumbai
The Budget 2021 does recognize the immediate needs for the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine requirements for the nation. The focus on spending on COVID measures and the vaccines will bring the much needed stability to the Public Healthcare setup. The increase in budget outlay for health and welfare by 137% as compared to the previous year will boost the public health and pharmaceuticals sector.
The PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana to develop capacities of health care systems, develop institutions for detection and cure of new and emerging disease is the first step to boost rural health and keep country ready for emergency handling of pandemic situations. The Government will need to continue to invest in the development of human resources and infrastructure in the years to come.
The decision to include the Pneumococcal vaccine is also a welcome decision, along with the announcement of Mission Poshan to improve nutritional outcomes for children.
With the Budget 2021, the Government has taken a much-needed step to be moving in a direction of strengthening healthcare and promoting preventive healthcare. A robust monitoring and implementation plan in place will he see the initiatives achieve great success.
Commenting on the Union Budget 2021, Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented medical crisis and it underlined the importance of building a resilient healthcare infrastructure. Today, the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s said health was her first pillar and her announcements to develop primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare systems, greatly gladdened my heart. This ground-breaking focus on health which will provide access to medical care for all in our country, fuel job creation and boost economic momentum.
India’s efforts in managing the pandemic have been exemplary – our frontline workers and scientists have been working tirelessly to save lives and develop indigenous vaccines. Now the allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores for COVID-19 vaccines and more if required, makes our glorious nation stand tall as a model for the world.
We must now look at the next crisis of Non Communicable Diseases, which will be responsible for 80% of deaths and cause a 3.8 trillion USD burden to the country by 2030. It is important to focus on prevention, early detection and possible cure to protect Indian families from grief, financial burden and to help the GDP grow. India having proven its clinical excellence, should now focus on clinical trials, research, innovation and technology. There is potential for India to become the largest global health technology center. As an additional opportunity, India can generate employment and be a healthcare service provider for the world.”
Himanshu Baid, Managing Director, Poly Medicure Ltd
Considering that the budget was created in a difficult economic scenario, it is overall a good budget for the healthcare industry. The Government has outlaid a budget of 2.23 lakh crore for healthcare sector, resulting in an increase of 137% relative to previous year’s budget. The budget is focused on improving healthcare infrastructure and access to medical care across the nation. It extends support to the various wellness centers and public health labs in small districts. These will lead to better access to basic and quality healthcare facilities to the people in rural areas. Critical care hospital blocs in 202 districts and 3382 blocks public health units in 11 states are to be set up which will lead to timely access of urgent care to patients. 35000 cr. has been allocated for the Covid-19 vaccine which will help contain the disease and lead us towards Covid-19 free nation. Under the “PM Atmanirbhar Swasthya Yojana”, investment on health infrastructure in Budget 2021 has increased substantially. The scheme will focus on developing capacities of healthcare systems, develop institutions for detection and cure of new and emerging diseases. Budget for this scheme has been set at 64,180 cr. over a period of next 6 years which should have been 3 years instead. The government has not taken into consideration to rationalize import duties and GST which could have given boost to local manufacturers. According to the budget, it will be considered from 1st Oct, which should have been done earlier by 1st April. Also, the government has not given any incentives to the domestic players or taken any steps to further local innovation and bolster R&D. We hope that these points pertaining to boost local manufacturing would be addressed by the government in the near future.
Mr. Suresh Vazirani, Founder Chairman & Managing Director-Transasia Bio-Medicals Ltd.
This is a great budget which recognizes the importance of health and healthcare in a country. The government has made a determined effort to increase India’s current pitiful spending on healthcare to a global standard.
Launch of the new Atma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojna with allocation of Rs 64,180 Cr. is indeed a laudable step to focus on prevention of disease rather than just its cure. Hopefully this scheme will enable every Indian whether in a city or in a village for a free health check-up at 17,788 rural and 11,024 urban health centres equipped with diagnostic labs. This would go a long way in helping people prevent disease and thereby help make a Healthy India. A Healthy India can gain at least 2% of GDP which at present is lost due to loss of work days of millions of people.
With a huge 137% increase in healthcare sector allocation to Rs 2.23 lakh crores, the Finance Minister has shown the Government’s resolve to create a Healthy India. This is something every Indian should feel proud about.
As our Hon. Prime Minister had earlier said that “Jaan hai to Jahan hai”, he is now enabling people in India to take care of their Jaan.
I do hope that our Finance Minister will not stop at just these two measures, important as they are. Creation of Healthy India should be further enabled by reducing the out-of-pocket spend of 70% citizens which is amongst the highest in the world.
This can be taken care by reducing the currently very high GST of 12-18% which hospitals and clinics have to pay on purchases of medical devices.
Another crucial area that needs Government’s support is to make healthcare affordable for every citizen. But one can’t make a Healthy India, if India remains dependent on imports to a level as high as 70%. The only way to make healthcare affordable is to have ‘Make in India’ medical devices. Government needs to change this by incentivizing ‘Make in India’ efforts so that 70% of medical devices are Made in India.
Jatin Mahajan, MD (J Mitra & Company) and Joint Coordinator – IVD (AiMED)
The Union budget seems to be a mixed bag –
There has been an increase of 137% in the overall Health budget, and this is a very good sign – it demonstrates the Government’s high priority towards the healthcare segment. The Government has announced the PM Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana which will have an outlay of 64,180 cr over the next 6-years, and this will be in addition to the National Health Mission. Rs 35,000 cr has been allocated for Covid Vaccination Drive.
The Government plans to set up Integrated Public Health Labs which will be a boost to early detection of the ailments and diseases.
National Centre for Disease Control will be further strengthened; Emergency Health centres will be established and the Government is readying the National Digital Health Blueprint.
On the manufacturing end, the PLI schemes will be further enhanced and this is likely to benefit the healthcare manufacturing segment as well.
There is an effort to boost the Startup and MSME segment, and this will also positively impact the healthcare segment. Collateral free loans, fund for funds to be set up, and the restructuring of the MSME definition will all boost the manufacturing segment and this will have a positive impact on the healthcare segment
But what has been missing from the details are focus on Make-in-India and the medical devices segment. We were looking forward to the change in duty structure in favour of home-grown companies, but this doesn’t seem to have been addressed. Also expected was a concerted focus on creating the right ecosystem and environment – Medical Devices manufacturing hubs, that provide the right mix of common infrastructure, facilities, and subsidies for technological upgradation to increase sustainability and economies of scale. But this hasn’t been a priority
“It is heartening to see the Government’s focus on the 6 pillars- health & well-being, manufacturing, agriculture reforms, reinvigorating human capital, research & development and maximum governance, which gives a visible roadmap to reset the economy. With 137% increased budget allocation healthcare has taken center stage for the benefit of citizens of India. We applaud the new budget which takes a holistic view of healthcare to move towards Atmanirbhar Bharat with emphasis on preventive, curative and wellbeing, reducing rural urban divide and capacity enhancement interventions across the value chain.
Dr. Shravan Subramanyam, Managing Director, Wipro GE Healthcare.
Our endeavour for the past 30+ years have been to ensure quality and affordable healthcare is accessible to the doorsteps of people through our local manufacturing, R&D, digital and skilling efforts delivered through the wide network of sales and services personnel and partners. We are happy to see the alignment with the 6 pillars defined in the budget and wish to partner with the government and other players to strengthen and bring to reality the newly launched Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojna. We continue our promise to be a partner to the government’s effort for a self-reliant India especially during early intervention in the areas of mother & child, cardiology, oncology and trauma & stroke.”
Mr. Vishal Bali, Executive Chairman
Asia Healthcare Holding.
Healthcare At forefront of India’s Growth,
“ Healthy India is core to India’s economic growth reflects in the 137% increase in outlay for health at Rs 2,23,846 cr in budget 2021. The focus on healthcare with Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with an outlay of Rs 64, 180 CR over 6 years shows that healthcare capacity building is now a key priority for the Govt. The 35000 cr earmarked for COVID 19 vaccination drive will create the safety net for the country. The overall capital expenditure increase of 26% should drive infrastructure acceleration, the much needed GDP growth driver. Insurance sector which is an important pillar for any country should see an exponential growth with enhancement of FDI limit to 74% from 49%. Overall a forward looking budget to drive the 11% GDP growth for India in FY22 as pegged in the Economic survey 2020 ”
Sunil Thakur, Partner, Quadria Capital, an Asian healthcare-focused private equity fund.
First of all, the pandemic has made the linkage between health and the proverbial wealth loud and clear. And so, duly taking its learnings from the ongoing battle against the pandemic, without worrying about the fiscal burden, the government raising the healthcare budget by an impressive 137% is indeed praiseworthy. This implies that health is finally getting its due in the wider economic/financial scheme of things. The PM AtmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, with an outlay of about` 64,000 crores over 6 years with a focus on primary, secondary, and tertiary care Health Systems is also notable. In terms of nutrition which is a key pillar for preventive health, the merging of Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the Poshan Abhiyan into Mission Poshan 2.0 and extending it to 112 Aspirational Districts is also welcome. Then the critical role of startups including health tech startups during the pandemic has been well recognised. The extension of financial incentives to startups including extending the exemption on capital gains for another year as well as the incentivizing of incorporation of one-person companies (OPCs) though several measures is a sign of that recognition. In the backdrop of the accelerated push to digitalization, the setting up of National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) will lay the groundwork for a more digitally-enlightened citizenry. However, the government could have spoken a few words on the National Digital health Mission. And as for building infrastructure in general, the sharp increase in capital budget at Rs. 44,000 is also noteworthy and signals the government’s long-term intent.
Sunil Khurana, CEO & MD at BPL MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES Pvt. Ltd & Penlon Ltd ,
“Overall the budget is in line with the expectations for Healthcare sector however the fine prints need to be analysed. We also await new custom guidelines which will support the government agenda of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
Government should ensure that this increase in expenditure is not a one-off and is sustained over the coming years to make a healthier Bharat.”
Mr. Arindam Haldar
CEO, Thyrocare Technologies
“We applaud the Government for the budget announcement, highlighting Rs 64,180 crore investment over a period of six years to improve primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, in addition to the National Health Mission. The critical announcement of building 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres with integrated public health labs in each district marks for a monumental decision and the first step to making healthcare affordable and accessible to all. Healthcare has been bucketed under the six pillars of the Union Budget 2021-22 which underscores the importance of focus on healthcare. Preventive healthcare, is one of the critical areas called out in the budget under health infra, where the investment allotted will further encourage preventive healthcare, which is the need of the hour for our country. We at Thyrocare Technologies encourage preventive health check-ups and screenings to reduce the burden of sick care delivery which proves to be more cost heavy for citizens.”
Mr. Vivek Tiwari, Founder & CEO, Medikabazaar
The COVID pandemic has brought healthcare to the forefront like never before. This last year saw the world dealing with incredible healthcare challenges, the likes of which haven’t been seen for generations. Considering our population density and the size of country, the challenge was larger and more complex for India.
The country responded to the pandemic better than most others. People stayed united in the fight against COVID and the government responded well with the right steps at the right time to ensure a fine balance between keeping people safe and keeping the economy running. We couldn’t afford a situation where the economic slump hurts people more than the pandemic itself.
Based on the numbers and the situation in the country, it feels like the worst is behind us. What was needed now was a budget that increased our focus on healthcare and ensuring that in the long term, we are better prepared for any such events. I think the government has delivered exactly what was needed.
I call it a ‘Wellness Budget’; am very happy to see allocation of ₹2.24 Lac crores for healthcare and wellness initiatives, an unprecedented 137% hike over the previous year.
Finally, Healthcare sector gets the desired attention and this budget marks the beginning of building a robust health infrastructure in the country. One other thing that probably is important too, is the increase in FDI in the insurance sector. This should boost health insurance reach and ensure greater affordability for healthcare especially through government run insurance schemes.
Zooming out a bit, I think the government had a tough choice of focusing either on boosting growth or on controlling our fiscal deficit. I personally feel the government once again picked the right path of accepting a higher deficit number to ensure that the India Growth story continues.
Mr. Sanjiv Navangul
MD & CEO, Bharat Serums and Vaccines Ltd, (BSV) says, “The union budget has given a substantial increase to bolster the healthcare sector in India. INR 35000 cr for COVID-19 vaccine and the commitment to the pneumococcal vaccine to be rolled out nationwide to avert child deaths is a massive boost. A well spent allocation of INR 64,000 cr under the new Atmanirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana scheme will show significant results thus labelling #healthyindia as an encouraging effort. And, the infrastructural push will certainly create many more skilled jobs revitalizing the overall ecosystem”.
Cdr Navneet Bali, Regional Director, Northern India, Narayana Health said, “The Union Budget this year has clearly announced the paradigm shift in the way we look at the health and wellness in our country. From 137% increase in healthcare budget allocation to Rs. 64180 crore spending in next 6 years towards the ‘PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, this is a movement towards making our country more aware about wellness and ensuring that our citizens are more productive. When a country has more productive and healthy citizens it manifests into everything that we do and this budget typically has shown a direction towards how we are headed in the next five to 10 years. Setting up of health and wellness centres in rural and urban India, having integrated public health labs, having a nationwide Pneumococcal vaccine which will prevent deaths of over 50000 children to the announcement of Rs. 35000 crore towards vaccines, I think these are very important and critical steps towards that direction. Along with that thinking about clean air missions in 42 urban areas with a million plus population, setting up of critical care hospital blocks 602 districts in India; I think these all are very important steps which will strengthen our healthcare. I think this budget points out that along with spending on treating illness it is also better for the country to work towards wellness and make the citizens healthy and productive. In that way I think this is an extraordinary and great Budget”.
Mr. Amol Naikawadi
Joint Managing Director, Indus Health Plus
“The 2021 Union Budget looks optimistic for the healthcare sector. With Aatma Nirbhar Health Yojana, the sector will get a boost from a public health infrastructure standpoint. The initiative will enhance the quality of healthcare and strengthen the national center for diseases control in the country. In addition, due to this, most of the health needs of the low-income group in both urban and rural areas will be taken care of. Besides, Mission Poshan 2.0 and Jal Jeevan Mission will also help in improving public health and wellness. In my opinion, the budget should have also given some preference to private healthcare segment as well that has been a strong pillar of support during the pandemic. Apart from that, the focus should have been more on the prevention of NCDs, which are mostly asymptotic at the early stages but eventually treatment becomes difficult and expensive.
The further fortification by setting up additional 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centers along with integrated public health labs is also a good decision. However, emphasis on the preventive healthcare segment would have lowered the NCDs burden and the overall health expenses of the country.”
By Budget Initial Reactions by – Dr. Girdhar Gyani, Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers- India ( AHPI)
We have been saying that emphasis on Promotive, Preventive and Primary care only can help in making of a Health India. One rupee spent on these 3 Ps can save five on curative care. Sanitation, Drinking water, and nutrition have a similar impact. We are happy to note that Union Budget is focused on these issues. Simultaneously the Government should aggressively initiate reforms in medical education including for the nursing and allied health workforce. In terms of resource allocation and policy support amid a once-in-a-century pandemic Union Budget 2021-22 looks progressive.
By Dilip Jose,Managing Director & CEOManipal Hospitals
The Finance Minister has accorded special attention to the Healthcare Sector, increasing the overall outlay to health and wellbeing to nearly Rs.2.25 lakh crore, an increase of over 135% over last year. The enhanced allocation, along with the plan to look at healthcare wholistically – including nutrition, sanitation, clean drinking water and pollution control, certainly augur well for the country. The allocation of Rs.35,000 Crores towards Covid vaccination also is a very welcome step.
Significant focus also has been brought to scaling up infrastructure, like critical care capabilities as well as primary and secondary care facilities through the PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat programme. It is also very heartening that the FM promised higher allocations as required, as institutions absorb the funds committed at the first instance. All in all, a great beginning has been made in the journey to take our healthcare system to the world class standards.
Further, the augmented government spend planned for capital expenditure by over 35% would aid job creation and growth in incomes, which would in turn enable people to spend on healthcare when required.”
Prem Sharma – CEO and Founder of DaytoDay Health
In terms of resource allocation and policy support, Union budget 2021-2022.
Announcement of a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme- Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojna( PMANSY), with proposed allocation of Rs 64,180 crore would go long way to strengthen primary, secondary and even tertiary care in the country. This year Budget was based on six pillars and it is encouraging to note that Health and Wellness was at the top priority. For Health and Wellness of the people the government would be focusing on three critical areas- Preventive, Curative and Wellness. Allocation of adequate funds to modernize existing healthcare infrastructure would be the best way to strengthen the sector. Govt. is strengthening National Centre for Disease Control with Its 5 regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units in PM Atmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojna.
Dr. Anand Bansal, Medical Director at Action Group of Hospitals
“Amid COVID 19 pandemic the sudden and unprecedented changes the world had to go through, this budget was keenly awaited especially for the announcements in regards to the health sector. Healthcare is certainly a top priority of this budget as 137% hike in health & wellness budget has been announced. Our health sector needs more expenditure and infrastructure development. With the announcement of PM Atmanirbhar Health Yojana worth around Rs. 64000 crore we are certainly going to witness more inclusive growth in our healthcare in upcoming years, which is full of challenges in the current scenario. Also the amount of Rs. 35000 crore announced for COVID 19 vaccine will strengthen this fight against pandemic. As per health concerns this budget is satisfactory and full of vision, considering the challenges our healthcare is facing, things will surely need time to reflect results on a larger scale”
Cdr. Navneet Bali Navneet Bali, Regional Director, Northern India, Narayana Health
The Union Budget this year has clearly announced the paradigm shift in the way we look at the health and wellness in our country. From 137% increase in healthcare budget allocation to Rs. 64180 crore spending in next 6 years towards the ‘PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, this is a movement towards making our country more aware about wellness and ensuring that our citizens are more productive. When a country has more productive and healthy citizens it manifests into everything that we do and this budget typically has shown a direction towards how we are headed in the next five to 10 years. Setting up of health and wellness centres in rural and urban India, having integrated public health labs, having a nationwide Pneumococcal vaccine which will prevent deaths of over 50000 children to the announcement of Rs. 35000 crore towards vaccines, I think these are very important and critical steps towards that direction. Along with that thinking about clean air missions in 42 urban areas with a million plus population, setting up of critical care hospital blocks 602 districts in India; I think these all are very important steps which will strengthen our healthcare. I think this budget points out that along with spending on treating illness it is also better for the country to work towards wellness and make the citizens healthy and productive. In that way I think this is an extraordinary and great Budget”
Mr Anand Kumar, CEO, SRL Diagnostics
I congratulate the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a dynamic budget that is holistic and integrated with focus on Health & Well-being, Inclusive Development, Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, along with primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. The budget allocation of INR. 2, 23,846 crore for the healthcare sector in the present pandemic context will give the much required impetus to the sector and its very encouraging to see that the government has showcased a positive intent towards strengthen healthcare sector. With a clear thrust on vaccination drive, the additional budget allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for Covid Vaccine is expected to strengthen our nation’s battle against the virus. Further, the announcement with regards to setting up integrated public health labs in each district will help in building a cohesive healthcare system. All of these initiatives showcase the government’s commitment to driving an integrated, sustainable, and humane approach to economic growth, that will have long term impact on the health and well-being of generations to come.”
Dr. Somesh Mittal, Managing Director & CEO, Vikram Hospital Bengaluru
”We see this budget as a positive step in the right direction for healthcare sector. The allocation for Aatmanirbhar Health Yojana with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over six years in addition to the National Health Mission, is a welcome move. The government’s focus on setting up Health Emergency Centres ,Urban Health and Wellness centres and Integrating public health labs will go a long way towards ensuring better healthcare and treatment options. I am also happy that the Government of India has announced Rs 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccine which will help lakhs of poor and middle class citizens. I am positive that all the measures taken in this budget to make healthcare available to all, will yield a positive impact on the economy. Lastly, let’s not forget the Mission Poshan 2.0 launch that will tackle the malnutrition problems in India especially with the underprivileged and migrant population. Overall, the health and nutrition has received the focus it deserves in the budget”
Mr Sushant Raorane (Director and Co-founder Adroit Biomed Ltd)
An increase by 137% in the budget outlays shows that the Government is serious.
Just the symbolic placement of the sector in the first section of the budget speech shows the government’s commitment to enhance the health infrastructure for the wellness of all citizens. There is going to be a special thrust in natural medicines and therapy and this will give a boost to the nutraceutical segment. We welcome this budget for sure and aim to work hard for a self-confident and self-reliant India.
Dinesh Chauhan, CEO, CORE Diagnostics
“We hail the Government’s continued commitment towards healthcare & well-being with the new Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Yojana, as an addition to the National Health Mission, with outlay of Rs 64,180 cr. This will provide the necessary impetus to the development of primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare and further support the nation to come out of the distress caused by COVID-19. Since it will also be used towards creating modern institutions & labs to cater for detection and cure of new and emerging diseases – the diagnostics industry will have a major role to play and work towards making healthcare more accessible and sustainable. This is a great move towards making healthcare services more democratised and we are committed towards bringing a significant change in the diagnostics space with early diagnosis and outcome-based line of treatment for patients.”
Saurabh Kochhar, Founder and CEO, Meddo
Health sector has received due importance and we are happy that we are in a progressive and promising space. COVID 19 challenged the health sector across the globe but it’s time for us to see the silver lining. The fact that health is regarded as the foremost pillar of the Union Budget 2021 speaks volumes about the Government’s focus on the sector. 137% increase in healthcare expenditure is the need of the hour. In a year where overall GDP is contracting, this should take Healthcare spend to over 3% of GDP, up from 1.3%. What is now imperative is deploying allocated funds effectively to further primary health and digitisation. Budget allocation towards vaccines is noteworthy and a step in the right direction. With increased capital infusion / liquidity, it would be prudent to incentivise private players who can become the backbone of healthcare delivery system in the nation and partner the vision of the policy makers and support implementation effectively. Last but not the least, increased FDI in Insurance can be utilised by the health sector to increase penetration and offer the much needed security and cover for the masses. All in all, budget 2021 is inclusive and promising for the healthcare sector.
Dr Prem Kumar Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Hospitals, Kochi
This is a very good and bold Budget. It has provided substantial allocation for healthcare, which is a very positive step in the right direction for healthcare services in India. The Budget would help address the gap in the healthcare infrastructure as well as in the delivery of healthcare services in both urban and rural areas. Setting up of 28,000 wellness centres across the country, establishing integrated public healthcare labs in 11 states, setting up critical care hospital blocks, earmarking funds for COVID vaccine, strengthening integrated health information portal in all states, regional research platforms and four new National Institute of Virology will help the healthcare industry combat emerging viral infections effectively. The overall thrust of the Budget is on strengthening the preventive and curative aspects of healthcare, which is critical in advancing the health of our people.