Experts in the healthcare industry are commending the high capital outlay in the 2021 Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
We have seen the unprecedented impact of the Coronavirus on our economy and business sectors. The dreaded virus and its devastation have naturally put healthcare in the limelight in the FM´s budget this year.
Healthcare and nutrition get attention in this budget and wellness has also been given priority, focusing on the preventive, curative, and holistic healthcare.
Following are the highlights of the Union Budget 2021 that focused on healthcare:
- Increased capital through DFI (Development Financial Institutions)
- An outlay of INR 64,181 crore over the next six years for the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY)
- 74% increase in FDI limit in insurance
- Budget outlay of INR 2,23,846, a 137% increase from the previous year
- The allotment of INR 35,000 crore for COVID vaccine research
- The establishment of central institutions, the connection of public health labs, and 15 health emergency operation centres
The Tech Panda gathered reactions of experts and leaders in the healthcare sector regarding the budget.
Mahesh Basavanna Founder and Director, KIRU by OrgTree
“The increased capital through DFI (Development Financial Institutions) will hopefully help develop economic corridors that will benefit all sectors. Though I expected incentives for modernization of the agriculture sector and also setting up special economic corridors with incentives in the rural sector for overall development which was missing. The reduction of margin money requirement from 25% to 15% for startups could prove beneficial.”
Girish Rao Chairman and Managing Director Vidal Health
“This is clearly the most forward-thinking budget in recent times. The fact that healthcare plans were taken up first by the FM shows the importance the government is giving to the health of our citizens. Far-reaching recommendations will transform public health. The increase in allocation to 2.37 lakh crore was long overdue and we welcome this.”
There is a need to build technology platforms to bring in large masses under the healthcare delivery platform
“The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) has been a resounding success in bringing awareness and health coverage to large masses. The new PM-ASBY with a special focus on building primary, secondary, and tertiary care capabilities in rural India will bring attention to the much-neglected sector. INR 64,000 crore allocation over six years is a great beginning and will transform rural India.
“There is a need to build technology platforms to bring in large masses under the healthcare delivery platform. FDI limit in insurance, which has increased to 74%, is also a positive move. This allocation will allow for more investment in this space.
Yogesh Agarwal Founder Onsurity
The increase in healthcare spending would mean that the infrastructure would be available for affordable healthcare on which startups can create micro risk products for the SME and MSME
“The announced PM ASBY is a landmark, as it is truly Atmanirbhar, where the government focus is to create more healthcare infrastructure rather than financial protection. The increase in healthcare spending would mean that the infrastructure would be available for affordable healthcare on which startups can create micro risk products for the SME and MSME. It would also mean better healthcare for Bharat and make it more ready and healthy.
Dr. Shuchin Bajaj Founder and Director Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals
“The health allocation in the first digital Union Budget presented in the Parliament after the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 150,000 people so far, reflects that the government is serious about the steps needed to reach that level of health preparedness.
The allotment of INR 35,000 crore for COVID vaccine research shows that more vaccines will be rolled out for the common masses and soon we will have a corona-free nation
“The announcement of the new centrally funded scheme, PM Swasthya Yojana with an outlay of INR 64,180 crore, will strengthen and develop primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare facilities even in the last miles of our nation.
“Even the budget outlay of INR 2,23,846, a 137% increase from the previous year, in health and welfare shows that our budget has no doubt focused on the preventive, curative and holistic healthcare. The allotment of INR 35,000 crore for COVID vaccine research shows that more vaccines will be rolled out for the common masses and soon we will have a corona-free nation.”
Dr. Tushar Grover Medical Director Vision Eye Centre
“On the back of the ongoing battle against COVID, there is no doubt that by raising the healthcare budget by 137%, the government has sent a huge signal. This was a long pressing need. Besides the National Health Mission, the PM-ABSY with INR 64,000 crore plus funds is again commendable.
On the back of the ongoing battle against COVID, there is no doubt that by raising the healthcare budget by 137%, the government has sent a huge signal
“The establishment of central institutions, the connection of public health labs and 15 health emergency operation centres will go a long way in addressing the needs of the health sector. The fact that the government has spoken of preventive health, curative health, and wellbeing altogether implies that all grounds have been covered. The INR 35,000 crore allocation to vaccines again reaffirms government’s commitment to stem the COVID challenge.”
Harshit Jain MD Founder and CEO Doceree
“This year’s budget by Hon’ble FM is pragmatic, positive, and committed to the healthcare sector, which needed a deliberate boost post unprecedented virus outbreak last year. The announcement of centrally funded scheme – ABSY – with an outlay of INR 64,180 crore over six years in addition to the National Health Mission is a welcome step towards strengthening primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare in the country.
Setting up of 15 Health Emergency Centres shows the government’s intent to be future-ready to address any healthcare crises
“Setting up of 15 Health Emergency Centres shows the government’s intent to be future-ready to address any healthcare crises. It is commendable that the government has put healthcare on the forefront, putting focus on curative and preventive health and wellbeing. The allocation this year is likely to be around INR 2,23,846 crore, which is a whopping over 130% rise from the budget last year. The proposals would make quality healthcare accessible and affordable, besides standardizing healthcare infrastructure across the country.”