Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, presented the country’s first paperless federal budget and unveiled a raft of initiatives aimed at stimulating the economy and improving healthcare following the devastation wrought by the Covid virus. Here I am sharing the post budget reactions form leaders in Healthcare Industry.
Mr. Vishal Bali, Executive Chairperson, Asia Healthcare Holdings
” The budget’s push of 3.3% of GDP towards capital investment is a key initiative to drive the country’s growth engine in a turbulent global environment. The changes in the tax slabs should also boost the domestic consumption of goods and services. However, a mere 2.71% increase on the healthcare expenditure side is disappointing given the overall need to transform healthcare in the country. The budget also does not provide any impetus towards the “Make in India” initiative of medical technology which is a critical need to accelerate self-reliance in a highly import-driven sector. The focus on 157 new nursing colleges is an excellent initiative requiring aggressive execution. Overall the budget 2023 misses the focus of healthcare from a reform perspective besides the push for the eradication of sickle cell anaemia by 2047”
Gaurav Srivastava, Co-founder & COO, HaystackAnalytics.
“The Union Budget 2023-24 presents a well-structured and forward-looking budget that comprehensively addresses pain points of critical sectors and outlines a clear implementation roadmap. It is a forward-looking budget and the intent is to invest in capability and capacity building. We particularly applaud the initiative to develop talent and increased focus on R&D for the healthcare industry. The availability of select labs of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for research by public and private medical institutions and the introduction of multidisciplinary courses will provide futuristic medical training and spur innovation for the larger good. Additionally, in recognition of the fact that the future of manufacturing is increasingly driven by automation technologies, we appreciate the government’s commitment to establishing 100 labs for the development of 5G-based applications within engineering institutions.”
Mr Pavan Choudary, Chairman, MTaI, said,
“The 2023-24 Union budget has taken some crucial initiatives to increase the CAPEX outlay by 10 Lakh crore, which makes it 3.3% of the country’s GDP. We hope that the benefit is also received by the healthcare sector which is in need of a big uplift in its infrastructure, especially in Tier 2 & 3 cities”.
“It is also reassuring that the government is working on reducing the current gaps in availability of skilled healthcare workers. The FM’s announcement on dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices would ensure availability of skilled manpower who can engage fluently with rapidly innovating medical technologies. To supplement this move, we also hope that research institutes and training centres will continue to get access to latest medical technology, unhampered by restrictions in Public procurement norms.”
Mr Sanjay Bhutani, Director, MTaI. Said,
“The Union Budget 2023 has tried to ease the tax burden on common man allowing for consumer spend growth, while managing the overall fiscal deficit in check. It also focuses on digitization initiatives, priority sector spending, agriculture support, easing compliances and reducing litigation which is a welcome approach. Emphasis has been given on infrastructure development with CAPEX growth at 33% aiming to facilitate higher private sector investment and Fiscal deficit estimated at 5.9%. That said, more could have been done towards decreasing healthcare costs for patients, as the long standing demand of healthcare industry to zero rate the medical services under GST has not been implemented”.
Union Budget 2023: Post Budget quote for Healthcare by . Anand. K, CEO, SRL Diagnostics
“It is a relief to see the government’s intent to screen and eliminate a condition like sickle cell anemia. We hope that just like the ‘Anemia Mukt Bharat’ initiative, this program also gets the required impetus from the central government. Along with establishment of nursing colleges, a provision for para medical workers and ancillary workers should also be considered. The focus on collaboration with private sector on R&D and innovations is a great move and hope it marks a new beginning for healthcare and pharma innovations in India. It would have been great if the union budget also focused on funding to strengthen India’s health infrastructure system and R&D capacity.”
Budget 2023: The year of Healthcare & Pharma Sector : – Dr Jogin Desai, CEO & Co-Founder, Eyestem
“The mission mode programme to eradicate sickle cell anemia can be tremendously impactful. Such programmes are a marathon and not a sprint yet can create a fantastic template for programmes for other diseases like curable blindness in subsequent years. Also glad to see the focus on research and development in the pharma sector which is a much needed push to ensure a local ecosystem of innovation is created in India to make us self-reliant. One of the centres of excellence we would certainly like to see is plug and play GMP manufacturing infrastructure for startups in the biotech space. Overall, very pleased to see a deliberate method to nudge the Indian private and public ecosystem towards innovation and partnership.”