Healthcare Experts React
The Finance Minister has kept the focus of the budget on economic revival and healthcare. The significant increase in budget outlay for healthcare has been particularly promising at a time when the COVID 19 pandemic has severely affected healthcare goals.
Dilip Jose, Managing Director & CEO, Manipal Hospitals, says, “The Finance Minister has accorded special attention to the Healthcare Sector, increasing the overall outlay to health and wellbeing to nearly Rs.2.25 lakh crore, an increase of over 135% over last year. The enhanced allocation, along with the plan to look at healthcare wholistically – including nutrition, sanitation, clean drinking water and pollution control, certainly augur well for the country. The allocation of Rs.35,000 Crores towards Covid vaccination also is a very welcome step.”
“Significant focus also has been brought to scaling up infrastructure, like critical care capabilities as well as primary and secondary care facilities through the PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat programme. It is also very heartening that the FM promised higher allocations as required, as institutions absorb the funds committed at the first instance. All in all, a great beginning has been made in the journey to take our healthcare system to the world class standards,” he added.
Further, the augmented government spend planned for capital expenditure by over 35% would aid job creation and growth in incomes, which would in turn enable people to spend on healthcare when required.
Dr. Girdhar Gyani, Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers- India said, “We have been saying that emphasis on Promotive, Preventive and Primary care only can help in making of a Health India. One rupee spent on these 3 Ps can save five on curative care. Sanitation, Drinking water, and nutrition have a similar impact. We are happy to note that Union Budget is focused on these issues. Simultaneously the Government should aggressively initiate reforms in medical education including for the nursing and allied health workforce. In terms of resource allocation and policy support amid a once-in-a-century pandemic Union Budget 2021-22 looks progressive.”
Prem Sharma – CEO and Founder of DaytoDay Health reacts, “In terms of resource allocation and policy support, Union budget 2021-2022.
Announcement of a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme- Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojna( PMANSY), with proposed allocation of Rs 64,180 crore would go long way to strengthen primary, secondary and even tertiary care in the country. This year Budget was based on six pillars and it is encouraging to note that Health and Wellness was at the top priority. For Health and Wellness of the people the government would be focusing on three critical areas- Preventive, Curative and Wellness. Allocation of adequate funds to modernize existing healthcare infrastructure would be the best way to strengthen the sector. Govt. is strengthening National Centre for Disease Control with Its 5 regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units in PM Atmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojna.”