Budget Reaction from Healthcare Sector
Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech
“It’s a great step ahead, and far-reaching budget announcement, providing ₹35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccination in 2021-22. The Finance Minister commitment providing more funds in order to contain the Coronavirus pandemic spread in the country and provide an effective, smooth path for the vaccination scheme will help contain, and lead our nation towards accomplishing a covid-19 disease free Bharat.
The lay out plan of a ₹64,180 crore spending plan for healthcare over the next six years to be spent on primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, in addition to the National Health Mission is also a welcome move, which will strengthen public health services as 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres and integrated public health labs to be set up in each district. The government focus, on three areas - preventive health, curative health and well-being, is also very reassuring.” Dr. Ella added, with this landmark budget the Government of India has signalled its intention to make health a cornerstone of the future success of our country. The allocation to vaccines signals a shift to preventive health care, a validation of the fact that vaccines are the most cost effective health care interventions.
Mrs.Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech
“The new health infra schemes with significantly higher outlay of Rs 35,000 crore for Bharat’s mega COVID19 vaccination drive is a huge fiscal medicine to contain the pandemic, reduce disease burden for the population, and the economy. A record total outlay of Rs 2,23,846 crore for health and wellbeing aimed to boost the health and well-being of the nation, is also a well-thought announcement in this budget, with focus on preventive, and curative health. It’s encouraging to note the creation of 9 Bio Safety Lab-III (BSL-3) in this Budget, that will boost research & scientific discoveries. With this landmark budget the Government of India has signalled its intention to make health a cornerstone of the future success of our country
Mr. Harish Manian, CEO, MGM Healthcare
We are delighted to note that the budget session was introduced with the announcement of increase in the healthcare budget by 137%. The government's holistic approach to healthcare will help in creating awareness on preventive healthcare. post-pandemic Learning from the recent pandemic, the move to establish more number of critical care blocks in Hospitals and strengthening of primary, secondary and tertiary care is a much need move by the Government. The launch of Misision Poshan 2.0 is a commendable move to prevent over 50,000 child deaths annually. Coupled with initiatives like clean water, clean air and clean environment, it will act as a binding force to achieve a universal health coverage. Detection of new and emerging diseases like COVID have been given the right impetus and will encourage all-round development and preparedness towards a progressive and safe future.
Dr. Alok Roy, Chair, FICCI, Health Services Committee and Chairman Medica Group of Hospitals
“India Inc. and especially the Healthcare industry which has been battling the demon of COVID-19 and its aftermath should consider this year’s budget a blessing. Quite rightly, the budget has focused on health and well-being, infrastructural reforms, development of human capital and minimum government and maximum governance. The very fact that Government has put health as the first pillar shows that finally it is being considered as the prerequisite to ensure economic well-being of the country. Budget 21-22 seems realistic, constructive, and Hon’ble Finance Minister showed her commitment towards the healthcare sector, which needed a boost urgently. The Aatmanirbhar Health Yojana in addition to the National Health Mission with an outlay of INR 64,180 crore over six years is a welcome move, towards strengthening primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare in the country, addressing the Preventive, Curative, and Wellbeing of the population. This will also intend to develop capacities of health care systems, develop institutions for detection and cure of new and emerging disease as the first step to boost rural health and keep country ready for emergency handling of pandemic situations. Further, increasing access to pneumococcal vaccine to all states and budget outlay for health and welfare by the allocation this year of INR 2,23,846 crore in the healthcare sector a rise by 137% as compared to previous year will prove to be a major increase in the public health and pharmaceuticals sector. This will definitely strengthen the National Centre for Disease Control and make India future ready for any further health crises. With the incorporation of 17,788 rural and 11,024 urban health and wellness centers, the budget rightly addresses the need to reach the last mile population. The decision to set up integrated public health labs in all districts and 3382 block public health units in 11 states along with critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions is creditable but more might be required in a country where the patient doctor ratio is abysmally poor. Expansion of the Integrated Health Information Portal to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs is a step ahead towards digitalization and is a positive move. India has done exceptionally well considering the density of populace in talking the pandemic. Setting aside INR 35,000 crore and more if required for COVID-19 vaccination drive is laudable and shows that Government has prioritized the sector. India unfortunately has the highest mortality rate for children, the decision to launch Mission Poshan 2.0 is a praiseworthy move to prevent over 50,000 child deaths annually. The INR 2,217 crore outlay for 42 urban centers to tackle air pollution, one of the deadliest pandemic which is obliterating mankind for years and acts as slow poisoning is also commendable. The resolution to set up integrated public health labs in each district about 3,382 block public health units in 11 states is noteworthy. Establishing critical care blocks in Hospitals is essential from our learning from the recent pandemic and a right move by the Government. Overall the proposals made in the Budget 21-22, would make quality healthcare accessible and affordable, besides standardizing healthcare infrastructure across the country. We await the on ground implementation and operational details of the scheme now.”
Dr. Alok Khullar, CEO, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai –
“The budget’s focus to strengthen the Indian healthcare infrastructure is really welcoming as it will help us to be well-prepared to handle disease outbreaks/pandemic. This move will reduce the burden on the healthcare workers and ensure increased accessibility for receiving critical and emergency care. Initiatives to promote fitness and sanitation will help in preventing lifestyle issues and reduce the probability of disease outbreak among the rural areas. The proposed set-up for a viability gap funding window to set up hospitals in PPP mode will help healthcare institutions to expand their network to smaller districts. The PM Jan Arogya Yojana would be a real boost that would help the Indian population to receive advanced technology care in their hometowns and reduce their burden of travelling to metro cities. However, the decision to levy a 5 percent cess on import of medical equipment could have been avoided, as it’s used for advanced life-saving measures and helps India to be abreast with high technologies used around the world for healthcare.”
Dr. Arun Kalyanasundaram, Director, Pro-med Hospital, Chennai
“The increased allocations for healthcare will boost the country’s healthcare sector and help in generation of more jobs and availability of skilled professionals that would help in meeting the increasing demand for accessible and affordable healthcare. The budget has adequate importance to preventive healthcare which is the need of the hour. After a difficult year for the healthcare sector, we hope that the announced measures would reduce the burden in the sector and we also look forward to working with the Govt to ensure quicker and faster administration of Covid-19 vaccines for all. The set-up of increased number of healthcare facilities will improve the healthcare network and reduce the turnaround of avoidable mortalities.”
Mr. Saranavakumar Rajan, General Manager – Operations, Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Chennai
“The holistic approach towards healthcare in this year’s budget is really commendable. Measures to tackle problems of air pollution and sanitation will aid in preventive healthcare and improve one’s well-being. The budget’s focus towards improving the health of the mother and a child with the Poshan Abhiyan scheme to enrich their nutritional intake, will create more awareness on the importanc e of consuming a well-balanced meal for a healthy living. We look forward to work together with the Govt in its efforts to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure among rural parts of India. This move would help in reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate as their deaths often occur as a result of inaccessibility to hospitals.”
Mr. A Ganesan, Group Vice Chairman, Neuberg Diagnostics
“The honorable finance minister has presented a very progressive budget. With a substantial increase in healthcare outlay, the government has given a much-needed shot in the sector's arm. With a substantial increase in healthcare outlay and key emphasis on public-private partnerships, the entire value-chain in the healthcare sector will gain new momentum and will see major collaborations amongst stakeholders. The announcements of centrally funded – Aatmanirbhar Health Yojana will strengthen our primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, and setting up of 15 health emergency centers with a focus on curative and preventive health and wellbeing will scale up the delivery of affordable healthcare services”.