Health Financing/Insurance

Budget 2016 : Fairly Positive for Healthcare

VarunTerming that Union Budget 2016-17 exudes optimism and its fairly positive when it comes to healthcare informs Varun Khanna, Managing Director, BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co) India, a leading medical technology company.

“The inclusion of health insurance for elderly indicates the progressive nature of the budget, as it will be good to see larger ambit of population benefiting from such steps that will ultimately bring down costs of healthcare in the country,” Khanna said.

The Union Budget 2016-17 announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, provides some encouraging measures to help India towards rural development, infrastructure, tax reforms, and structural transformation.

Presenting the Union Budget 2016-17 Jaitley informed that the government will set up 3,000 new generic medicine stores across the country to tackle the shortage of drugs particularly in rural areas. He also announced the launch of a national dialysis programme to address the high costs involved in the renal dialysis processes.

“The budget looks fairly positive for the healthcare sector. An impetus to higher public healthcare spending would have made it more favorable,” he added.

“It is encouraging to see the reduction in import duty on certain dialysis equipment but the budget could have been broad based by extending import duty exemption on devices across a broader spectrum. This calls for greater representation of the medical devices sector and benefits extended to diseases with high burden in India such as hepatitis, cervical cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis and cardiac problems,” Khanna added.

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