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Union Budget 2018-02-01

Union Budget 2018-19 Brings Smile on Indian Healthcare Market

Healthcare sector has welcomed the new initiatives of this year’s budget with open arms.

By Nibedita MohantaSenior Sub-editor

The Union Budget 2018-19 has been a boon for the healthcare sector and healthcare business in India. Earlier it was expected that the government should be focusing on the healthcare sector, for the common man as well as the businessmen and business associated with it.

Healthcare sector has so far been the winner in the budget allocation of Union Budget 2018-19.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced that “Rs 5 lakh per family annually to be given for medical reimbursement under the National Health Protection Scheme.”

As per a leading daily’s estimations, the healthcare scheme, the government promised to offer Rs 5 lakh per family for 10 core families will benefit about 50 crore people.

In the budget bill, Jaitley also announced that “Deduction on medical insurance premium for senior citizens has been raised to Rs 50,000. For senior citizens with critical illnesses will get a deduction of Rs 1 lakh.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “It must be noted that this Budget has given importance to “Ease of living” alongside ease of doing business.

The PM terms the Budget as 'Farmer friendly, business friendly, development friendly'

PM Modi further adds, “Ayushman Bharat will help 10 crore families in their medical need. This is the biggest ever government-sponsored health care programme in the world.”

Healthcare sector has welcomed the new initiatives of this year’s budget with open arms.

V Thiyagarajan, MD, India Home Health Care, said, “We feel that this year's budget is aimed at touching the lives of the rural folk and bridge the gap between the rural and urban population. We feel that utilizing 1.5 lakh healthcare centers across the country will bring the health benefits to almost all the households. We also welcome the government's move to provide free essential drugs and diagnosis as it will reduce the burden on people seeking treatments for life-threatening diseases.

He further added, “It will also help in promoting Universal Health Coverage for all under the National Health Policy. We also welcome the government's new initiative to allocate 600 crores to support tuberculosis patients.”

Dr. Dhaval Shah, Co-founder PharmEasy, said, “The budget has great news for the entire country's healthcare ecosystem. Launching the largest health care programme benefiting 50 crore people will give a huge boost to the entire healthcare ecosystem in the country especially in Tier 2 markets. The implementation is something that will be tested over time but this is a great step towards - 'Universal health coverage' for the entire country. Also, the critical illness waiver on medical insurance is a welcome step for elderly people in the country. Finally 'Swasth Bharat ' will be a reality.”

Suneeta Reddy, MD, Apollo Hospitals, said, “If the Flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 Cr poor and vulnerable families with up to 5 Lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization is properly implemented and monitored, we would have taken an important step in creating a Swasth Bharat. Effectively this initiative which amounts to USD 800 billion dollars, tops even the US’ Medical aid programme which amounts to USD 550 billion.”

Dr. Prathap Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals, said, “My heartiest congratulations to this government for investing in creating a Swasth Bharat by launching the Ayushman Bharat programme. Such ambitious out of the box thinking was a burning need of the hour and the government has not disappointed. The initiative to cover 10 crore families with 5 lakh per family/per year WITH INSURANCE COVER FOR SECONDARY AND TERTIARY HEALTHCARE will be a game changer.”

With help from Shipra Shrivastav

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