Health Inc's Budget Wishlist: More of 'Made In India' Medical Devices, Affordable Elder Care & Improved Infra
For A Healthy India
From tax relief on cost of preventive check-ups to rationalising GST rates, industry experts want the Centre to introduce new offers on health insurance premium and infrastructure.
Health Inc bosses also requested the Government to make care for the elderly and home healthcare affordable.
Vishal Bali, CEO, Asia Healthcare Holdings
"The budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Women and Child Development which was Rs 29,164.9 crore in 2019 should be increased by 20-25 per cent. A significant step on giving women better access to healthcare is to reduce their health insurance premium by 15 per cent which is already there on the life insurance side. This will enhance their overall healthcare benefits and support their well-being."
Amit Sharma, Founder & CEO, eExpedise Healthcare
"There needs to be concrete policies that ensure accessible and affordable healthcare; this could be done by exempting critical health equipment from the GST. This year’s Budget should be a relief in this aspect of the healthcare industry as it will prompt more people to take up health-checkups and help in achieving the expected CAGR of 27 per cent by 2023.
"If the Government relieves the ‘taxes under Section 80D’ associated with the cost of preventive check-ups, we would be able to focus on this segment of our population. As opposed to the last Budget, 2020 Budget should put emphasis on ways to increase funding in the healthcare sector."
Dr GSK Velu, Chairman & MD, Trivitron Healthcare
"The budgetary allocation should be enhanced on the primary health and on establishing the health and wellness centres (announced under Ayushman Bharat) which will help to reduce the disease burden.
"The Government should provide support to local manufacturing units in terms of preferred interest rates and priority sector lending and the focus should be on rationalising the GST rates for the health sector. Also, the medical devices manufactured in India should be given preference in Government purchases."
Nikhilesh Tiwari, Founder & CEO, ColMed
"For starters, tariff protection will boost the domestic industry and encourage competition, which will drive price stability. Secondly, we should increase the regulations to cover most medical devices and ensure responsible manufacturing and protect the interests of patients. Preferential pricing will promote quality in public procurement, and ensure that the patients who access the public healthcare system get the quality of treatment that they deserve.
"These changes will ensure a level-playing field and help put an end to the import dependence, which is vital if we want to achieve universal health coverage in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, the Government should give an export promotion scheme for a local manufacturer, and also initiate custom duty refund in case of re-exports."
Chander Shekhar Sibal, Executive Vice President, Head - Fujifilm India Medical Division
"The healthcare sector has always been one of the key focus areas with initiatives such as the Ayushman Bharat. The scheme has benefited a lot of people and helped to improve the healthcare infrastructure in the country.
"In Budget 2020, we would like to urge the Government to introduce zero-rating GST on healthcare services, provision for liberalised FDI regime for investments in health infrastructure and medical innovation fund and import duty relief for life-saving equipment. It will help in bringing down the expenses of healthcare significantly. Another important aspect is preventive health check-ups that can eradicate and analyse high prone diseases.
"We hope that the Government will increase medical reimbursement deduction pertaining to the rise in inflation and encourage the need for prevention amongst people."
KR Raghunath, Senior Chairman, Jindal Naturecure Institute
"Time and again it has been seen that AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) systems have immense potential to tackle the rising healthcare burden of non-communicable diseases in India. Besides yoga, the Government should promote naturopathy and make it a part of school and college curriculum, and set up a committee to introduce naturopathy practices in universities.
"Standardising naturopathy practice is the need of the hour as it will enable us to lay down strict standards that have to be adhered to by all naturopaths. With a population of over 133 crore, the Government needs to leverage the resources of alternative medicine systems so that universal health coverage can be achieved. Legitimising naturopathy and conducting mass awareness campaigns to educate the masses is the right way forward."
Dr Bhushan Bhavsar, Managing Director, Vetphage Pharmaceutical
"The Government must incentivise farmers to adopt the use of safe and healthy rearing practices that lead to a more sustainable approach to poultry production. The Government must also encourage organisations working to devise sustainable farming solutions to animal farmers. Falling consumption on a national level has emerged as a serious concern for different sectors as well as the economy as a whole.
"The poultry industry is no different. In fact, reports have shown that poultry farmers are struggling to cope with rising feed costs and falling consumer demand. Some poultry farmers have also been demanding duty-free imports of maize (an important poultry feed) to help them tide over the high feed costs. We hope the Government will pay due attention to the sector in the upcoming Budget."