Poised to be the most populous nation in the world, health will be a critical so coo-economic determinant for the progress of India. There is increasing focus on healthcare as is evident from the Union Budget presented by Hon’ble Finance Minister today. Some critical elements mentioned in the budget are:
1. Healthcare skill development – 157 new nursing colleges and novel skill development courses for medical equipment and device manufacturing and innovation
2. Promoting research and innovation in healthcare by opening up ICMR labs for collaborative research with medical colleges and private sector
3. AI in healthcare gets a major thrust and this would be of immense help in improving healthcare and also create opportunities for research and innovation across the healthcare spectrum
4. 5G labs to develop healthcare applications will enhance healthcare connectivity and access to higher quality of care to people living in distant geographies.
5. Replacing old ambulances with new ones will improve pre-hospital emergency care aiding in saving lives during the ‘golden hour’
6. Government Healthcare expenditure has doubled over the last 8 years and is going up further. With wellness and primary care being the areas most of focus it will have a positive impact on basic healthcare indices like maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate.
While we will get more clarity on reviewing the complete budget document, the initial reaction is that it is a positive and forward looking budget
Dr. K. Hari Prasad
President, Apollo Group – Hospitals.