Healthcare IT firms, especially those who are in the SME category providing niche IT solutions – those who provide the fundamental software decks like EMR, Hospital ERP, etc, need support from the government especially on the GST part. The peak rate GST rate of 18% should be reduced with immediate effect.
Unlike other IT verticals, the healthcare IT vertical relies on drawing units like hospitals, clinics, labs, diagnostic centres etc to sustain their business operations. These users make use of such IT products and services for optimizing their operations and processes. But unfortunately, given the stress they are facing due to the pandemic situation already in managing their core business – spending on IT and associated services have come to a halt. This in turn affects the overall ecosystem – more specifically software firms like us face the heat. At least for the next couple of years till the situation improves, tax holiday can be given or GST can be reduced. It is pertinent to note that these IT firms are supporting health infra development aligning with the National agenda.
Besides, the problems are plenty when it comes to health standards, etc. The National Digital Health Mission should implement the standards soon across government and private sector hospitals so that IT firms who implement software need not worry about following different templates, standards etc. This way, the patients – who are the final beneficiaries – can get their clinical data wherever they are without much ado.
The government should also intervene to implement a quick hassle-free automation of insurance patients – given the plethora of newer technologies – so that once again all the 3 Ps – Payers, Providers and Patients get the real benefits of their share without much issue. All these assume lots of significance given the stress the industry has already gone through due to Covid 19 Pandemic.
Views expressed by Aravindan Selvaraj, Director- Sales & Marketing, Aosta India Private Limited