Hospitals & Healthcare Services Welcome Budget 2024-25, Say It's Aimed At India's 'Healthier Future'

Hospitals & Healthcare Services Welcome Budget 2024-25, Say It's Aimed At India's 'Healthier Future'

Taking note of the budget session, the healthcare industry has reacted to it in a welcoming way.

Swarna SrikanthUpdated: Friday, February 02, 2024, 12:36 PM IST
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On Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered the Interim Budget which covered several health aspects. The budget threw light on vaccination against cervical cancer, maternal and child healthcare schemes, setting up medical colleges with existing hospital infrastructure, and more.

Taking note of the budget session, the healthcare industry has reacted to it in a welcoming way. Hospitals and related medical services have termed it a progressive budget that sets the stage for transformative growth and facilitates a healthier future for the country.

Hospitals' take on Budget 2024-25

Dr Sujit Chatterjee, CEO of Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, Mumbai: The recent announcements made in the Union Budget 2023 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in terms of healthcare come as a clear indication of the deep commitment that the government has to promote health in India. The proposed 2047 mission to eradicate sickle cell anaemia is surely an ambitious yet relevant goal.

Nishant  Mishra, Chief Marketing Officer, Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited: Cervical cancer is highly preventable and highly curable if caught early. The vaccination drive stated in the budget will prove beneficial. It's recommended that children get the vaccine between ages 9 to 14, so they're fully protected years before they become sexually active.

Dr Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, MD and CEO, Fortis Healthcare: The 2024 budget takes a forward-looking approach to healthcare. Establishing a committee to expand medical colleges within existing hospital infrastructure addresses the shortage of healthcare professionals and strengthens medical education.

Dr Simmardeep S. Gill, MD & CEO - Sterling Hospitals: The 2024 interim budget offers promising advancements for India's healthcare industry. Proactive public health programs ensuring complete childhood immunization are significant steps in promoting essential access to care for those serving rural communities. This streamlined approach can improve access and quality of care, particularly for vulnerable women and children in rural areas. Together, these measures paint a positive picture of a healthier, more prosperous Vikasit Bharat.

Gautam Khanna, CEO of P.D. Hinduja Hospital and President Association of Hospitals, Mumbai: Allocating a substantial corpus, accompanied by a 50-year interest-free loan for private sector research and development, positions India as a global healthcare innovation leader. However, the government's announcement to establish more medical colleges by utilizing existing hospital infrastructure will address manpower shortages while also increasing access to healthcare education. Implementation will be critical here and the financial and logistics issues that some of the private sector hospitals may face, need to be looked into.

Ameera Shah, Promoter and Managing Director, Metropolis Healthcare: While the Interim budget takes commendable steps in healthcare, the 1-lakh crore allocation for private sector R&D with 50-year interest-free financing is positive for innovation. Strengthening healthcare infrastructure by establishing additional medical colleges effectively addresses the critical shortage of healthcare professionals.

Dr Rajeev Boudhankar, Medical Director, Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, Mumbai: The 13% increase in budget allocation towards healthcare is a promising move and will help our country take a more positive direction towards the goal of Universal Healthcare. India is on the crux of becoming a global leader in healthcare research and development, with the national healthcare mission aligning better year on year and the advancement in healthcare education and technologies, we’re certain that India will be the cornerstone for breaking through the current global challenges across the spectrum.

Tejinder Pal Singh, Founder Director & Senior Partner - Pharma, Healthcare & Life Sciences, TRANSEARCH India: We welcome the Budget 2024-25 as a balanced, consistent & pro-development budget. The budget has paved the way for India to achieve universal health coverage. We believe that the budget, along with continuity in conducive policies and regulatory reforms, will facilitate research and development, fostering a culture of innovation, and promoting advanced manufacturing in the pharmaceutical and MedTech sector.

Dr. Sudhir U, MBBS, MD, Chinmaya Mission Hospital: We are both relieved and delighted that the Government of India, cognisant of the gravity of the problem and the immensely large section of the demographic at risk of cervical cancer, is acting proactively to deal with it. The Finance Minister's announcement encouraging administering of the cervical cancer vaccine to girls aged nine to 14 will go a long way in checking the already large caseload in the country. Such pre-emptive moves on the part of the government, acting in consort with the private sector, will reduce cervical cancer deaths in our country.

Pritika Singh, CEO of Prayag Hospitals Group: It's an applaudable budget extending the benefits of Ayushman Bharat to ASHA and Anganwadi workers, promoting vaccination for girls to prevent cervical cancer and more. These visionary measures underscore the collective responsibility towards building a resilient and inclusive healthcare ecosystem for the nation's well-being.

Ayanabh Debgupta, Jt. Managing Director, Medica Group of Hospitals: Though we know this was an interim budget we were expecting government to bring down the customs duty on general; oncology medical equipment. To provide optimal care at affordable rates, the recent increase in customs duty for general and oncology medical equipment. The customs duty for general equipment has risen from 14.57% to 22%, and for oncology equipment, it has increased from 30.48% to 36.64%. We are hopeful that Government shall address this during the final budget for 2024-25.

Hariharan Subramanian, Managing Director, Siemens Healthcare Private Limited: The budget also embraces new technology and promotes digital transformation, setting the path for economic potential and cost-effective, high-quality healthcare services across India. Fostering growth in the MedTech sector while emphasizing on achieving its vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Dr Jaideep Menon, Professor, Adult cardiology and Public health Amrita Hospital, Kochi: The budget unveiled by the finance minister today is promising and forward-looking. The positive step of consolidating maternal and child healthcare programs for better coordination involves bringing various schemes under one comprehensive program to enhance synergy in implementation. The swift rollout of the 'U-Win' platform and the intensified Mission Indradhanush showcase a strong commitment to improving immunization. Overall, the budget aims to pave the way for a healthier future, with a particular emphasis on the well-being of women.

Nabil Arrach, Founder, Progenesis: We appreciate the notable emphasis on women and child healthcare in the budget unveiled today. In the nuanced arena of IVF and genetics testing, where precision and innovation converge, we recognize the paramount importance of a holistic healthcare ecosystem. The visionary steps taken by the government align seamlessly with our own dedication to advancing reproductive health and genetic well-being. We applaud this forward-looking and impactful budget, anticipating transformative outcomes for the healthcare landscape and the lives it touches.

Raghab Prasad Panda, CEO and Co-Founder, Santaan: We acknowledge the increased allocation of funds for expanding hospitals, improving infrastructure, and enhancing rural healthcare, considering it a promising step towards achieving accessible and quality healthcare for all. However, we urge for additional initiatives to address challenges like healthcare affordability and manpower shortage, emphasizing the need for holistic reforms to ensure inclusivity and effectiveness in healthcare delivery to every citizen.

A Ganesan, Vice Chairman, Neuberg Diagnostics: Maternal and child healthcare takes center stage with the introduction of Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 initiatives. Notably, newborn screening, facilitated by leading healthcare entities such as Neuberg Diagnostics, will play a pivotal role in the early detection of health issues shortly after birth. Proposing the integration of newborn screening as a national program, accessible in every hospital, underscores the commitment to securing childhood and fostering holistic development.

Ishaan Khanna, CEO, Antara Assisted Care Services (Max Group): The budget is a great step to ensure universal access to and improve the quality of healthcare for all. We are excited to continue contributing to the healthcare infrastructure by expanding our senior care services across the country and working in collaboration with policymakers.

Aman Puri, Founder, Steadfast Nutrition: The government’s decision to expedite Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0, its flagship scheme to address the challenges of malnutrition in children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers is a welcome step. The decision will go a long way in improving nutrition content and delivery among these segments of our population and is a step towards eliminating India’s problem of malnutrition.

Avinash Deshmukh, COO, iThrive, Pune-Based Health & Wellness Startup: This interim budget seems to be a strategic move, avoiding major actions before the upcoming election. The emphasis on continuity and stability is evident, setting the stage for potential impactful measures in the post-election period.

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