Healthcare sector says raise allocation, provide low-cost funding for infra

New Delhi, Jan 26 (GCBusiness) A healthy India is the first priority for all and for Union Budget 2020-21, the healthcare sector says the allocation to this essential segment should go up and the government should provide low-cost funding and creation of healthcare infrastructure technology upgradation fund among others.

India has one of the lowest spending on healthcare globally. While it was stated that the country is set to increase the healthcare spending to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025, it continues to stand at 1 per cent.

‘The Government has promised 2.5 per cent in the National Health Policy, and that is what we will hope for,’ says Apollo Hospitals Group Managing Director Suneeta Reddy.

She said they would want the government to provide low-cost funding as provided to the infrastructure.

‘We would also like to see some acknowledgement of the sector as infrastructure, which will open up other sources of low-cost funding for us,’ Ms Reddy said.

As far as access and Insurance is concerned, while Ayushman Bharat has covered 50 crore people, including 10 crore already enrolled, the health sector does not has very low insurance penetration within the other, affordable segments.

‘We would wish for a tiered insurance program to be put in place – for example employers being mandated to provide meaningful cover for their employees; mandatory health insurance for self-employed professionals; affordable healthcare policies for elders and then back that all up with an increase in deduction under section 80D,’ Ms Reddy said.

She said there was a great need to increase the bed capacity and the private sector will have to pool in.

‘What the country needs now is investment in bed capacity. The Private health sector should be incentivised to do so. A scheme on the lines of the erstwhile 35AD scheme would be welcome, to re-energise private investment,’ Ms Reddy said.

Via UNI-India

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