New Delhi: The healthcare industry Saturday welcomed the initiatives announced by the government in Budget 2020-21 to improve the access to medical care across the nation.
“Budget 2020 is a definitive step forward in the Government of India’s commitment to making India healthier and a model for the world to emulate,” Apollo Hospitals Group chairman Prathap C Reddy said.
“In addition to initiatives announced to improve access to medical care across the nation and boost human health resources, it is encouraging that vital determinant of good health which includes wellness, nutrition, clean drinking water, and sanitation were at the forefront of this Budget,” Reddy added.
Calling it a farsighted budget, Reddy said the finance minister has announced ‘innovative initiatives that will enhance ease of living, improve the health quotient and boost opportunities for education and job creation, for all sections of our society and meet the expectations of an aspirational India’.
‘NATHEALTH’ president H Sudarshan Ballal said the budget accorded priority on capacity building by improving health infrastructure in Tier II & III cities and rural areas.
“Setting up hospitals on private public partnership with (PPP) the provision of viability gap funding in 112 aspirational districts in the country go a long way in creating a robust health infrastructure especially in areas where Ayushman Bharat benefits have not yet reached especially to the weaker section,” stated Ballal.
Calling it a directionally sound budget, Biocon Chairperson & MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said: “I am happy to see the government’s focus on reviving economic growth.”
“The proposed amendments to the Companies Act for removing criminal action in case of tax disputes is a step towards infusing trust among India Inc,” Mazumdar-Shaw said.
“The measures announced in this Budget can give returns in the medium to long-term. However, we need to make sure they are implemented fast to have immediate impact. Overall a satisfactory budget,” Mazumdar-Shaw added.
Highlighting that the budget was prepared in a difficult economic scenario , ‘Aster DM Healthcare’ founder chairman Azad Moopen said the Union Budget has managed to create opportunities for growth within limited resources.
“Eradication of tuberculosis in the country by the year 2025 is a great step towards healthier India,” said Moopen. “There is proposal for viability fund gap support for hospitals in Tier 2 and 3 cities for meeting the requirement for Ayushman Bharat. This will give more accessibility to the people in the smaller cities and villages,” Moopen pointed out.
However, it is unfortunate that the allocation of Rs 69,000 crore for the sector is only just one per cent of GDP which will be highly inadequate for any major leap forward in the sector, added Moopen.
Deloitte India, Partner, Lead- Life Science and Health Care Charu Sehgal said that ‘the budget 2020 has continued with the healthcare themes announced in 2018 but has not made any significant increase in allocation or incentives’.
“The overall allocation has increased marginally to Rs 69,000 crore from 63,000 crore last year. We will be nowhere closer to the long awaited target of 2.5 per cent of GDP,” added Sehgal.
“The budget is focused on the holistic vision of healthcare, which proposes to provide Rs 69,000 crore that includes Rs 35,600 crore for nutrition related programs for 2020-21, and the same will enable to reduce pre-term death and malnutrition in society,” Paras Healthcare COO Shankar Narang said.