Budget Healthcare!

The current drought in the global economy has not had much of an impact on the growth of the healthcare, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. The healthcare industry’s impressive contribution to India’s GDP was 5.2 percent in 2002 and is estimated to increase to 6.2 � 7.5 percent by 2012. The upward trend in this industry is hence, likely to continue in future as well, making it one of the key sectors that can fuel economic growth in the country. The industry expects the government to take key healthcare initiatives to bridge the yawning divide between the offered health services and their demand. However, the government, in the Union Budget ’09-’10, did not take any extraordinary steps to fulfil the demands of this industry. Rather, it followed a safer approach, considering the global meltdown, by marginally raising government spend on health services. Increased allocations for crucial programmes such as National Rural Health Mission and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and an overall increased spend of Rs. 4,000 crore have been offered on a platter to the healthcare industry. Find out more on this in the ‘Cover Story’ of this issue.

Robotic surgery, a relatively na�ve field, has recently generated much excitement among surgeons all over the world. India is also in this league with premier hospitals like AIIMS and Escorts implementing the technology in their surgical procedures. While the innovative technology has a lot to offer in the future of healthcare, the high cost associated with it is a roadblock for its widespread installation. The future, still has hope, with the infiltration of products incorporating improved technologies and lower costs. Catch up with the latest developments in this domain under ‘Tech Trends’ of this issue.

Our annual event, ‘eHEALTH India 2009’, is just around-the-corner. Come this August (25th-27th) in Hyderabad, and you will be among a group of highly enthusiastic people who are at the forefront of health IT and communication technologies. Around the world, healthcare is getting phenomenally benefited through ever more intelligent ICT systems, solutions and applications. The advantages are far reaching and indispensable for this industry.

While Indian hospitals and healthcare organisations are still yet to embrace IT in a ‘big’ way, the need has been felt by many, if not all. As number of vendors (and solutions) continues grow in the market, competition gets tougher… and buyers are exposed to ever more number of choices on offer. Join us to know what is the best and most cutting-edge in eHealth and how you can make the most out of it. See you there.

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