The Indian healthcare industry has welcomed the Central government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in order to curb ‘black money’ and corruption in the country. Many doctors and entrepreneurs ELets News Network (ENN) spoke to favoured the government’s decision aimed at checking uncounted cash to improve the Indian economy.
Welcoming the initiative, Kamal Solanki, CEO, Venkateshwar Hospitals-Dwarka, said, “We support Mr Modi’s move in freeing India from the black money scourge. We now request that the government take into account the plight of people, especially those who have no access to credit and debit cards. A hospital is a hospital whether government or private — we provide life saving services. We appeal to the government to spare those who are critically ill by introducing a system of identity cards that can be shared with government agencies, so that private hospitals too can provide healthcare services.”
It has been observed that demonetisation has encouraged people to adopt digital transactions. This will augur well for the healthcare industry by improve day-to-day functioning.
“Demonetising a currency is not a new strategy. Hyperinflationary countries resort to this regularly hoping to bring some stability into a chaotic and run away economy. However, the demonetising of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes had a clear objective of making people come out with their stash both generated through legal businesses as well as illegally.” said A. Vijayasimha, CEO and Co-founder of OneBreath, an international medical device company with a mission to advance healthcare in emerging countries.
“The demonetisation move will bring out undervalued transactions as long as the punishment and taxation is reasonable. However, for the folks who have been dabbling in illegal activities the cash would most likely be treated as fuel for cooking. The transactions in cash which have been under the radar do not reflect in the country’s GDP. It is estimated that a good 30 per cent in value of our GDP are transactions that are not recorded, and hopefully with this move we would see a contribution of 1.5 per cent to 1.75 per cent added to the GDP numbers,” he added.
Fortis Hospitals in a statement expressed its support for national priorities.
In a public statement, Fortis Healthcare stated, “We are fully supportive of the national priorities set out by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. Further to the directives of the government provided in their press release dated 8th November 2016, payments at government hospitals can be made through Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes. In view of the hardship being caused to the large number of patients at private hospitals, we have made an urgent representation to the government that this exemption should apply equally for payments at private hospitals.”
“At Fortis hospitals across the country, we continue to accept payments through credit card, debit card and electronic banking transfers. As Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes are no longer legal tender we are only accepting Rs 100 and lower currency notes. As per government regulation, a PAN card and legitimate ID proof is, however, required for payments in cash exceeding Rs 50,000. We continue to ensure that emergency cases get immediate medical attention without delay whatsoever and have put in more administrative staff and help desks to assist patients.”
Commenting on the demonetisation, Kamal Kumar Johari, Managing Director, Nobel Hygiene, said, “It is very bold and welcome move on part of the government. We need such reformative steps to curb the black money, which is detrimental to the whole economy and legitimate businesses and common man. In healthcare sector you might face lot of hassles while transacting in medical shops and hospitals as the consumer usually pay bills by cash, but this is a temporary phase and we must deal with it for larger good. We have a strong presence on the e-commerce platforms where our consumers can buy the products and follow their hygiene routine for the patients.”
Deepak Sahni, CEO and Founder, Healthians.com, said, “Old high denomination ban will impact the private healthcare sector for the next three to six months, and the impact would be higher for home healthcare service providers and door-step service providers. If we look at consumers such as patients with chronic illness and old patients, they always keep cash with them for all sorts of medical needs and usually old patients living alone always ensure they have sufficient cash for emergencies.”