Budget 2019: Seek more funds for healthcare facilities

Here's a wishlist of the health care industry:

Omnicuris

"With the introduction of central government’s Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection scheme, the burden on healthcare scheme is only expected to rise. As it covers 50 crore households or 500 million people, healthcare isn’t only getting more accessible but also becoming more efficient in diagnosing and treating patients with a strong primary care system in place.  The need of the hour is the primary care system should be strengthened in such a way that they are capable of doing the initial assessment, diagnosis and basic management and appropriate referral if needed be. A thorough assessment and investigation at the primary care or secondary care can lead to a significant saving of resources in the territory level. The government should facilitate more Continuous Medical Education (CMEs) to upgrade their skills which can solve the problem of shortage of trained doctors,"Savitha Kuttan, founder & CEO, Omnicuris, said.   

Jindal Naturecure Institute

“Disease patterns have undergone a significant shift over the last two decades, and the disease burden for non-communicable diseases has gone up. With over 60 % of the deaths caused by NCDs, we are in the midst of a growing epidemic. These diseases require regular visits to the hospital and put a dent in patients’ wallets and there is a growing need to educate people on the benefits of holistic preventive care systems such as yoga and naturopathy. Last year, the Union Government increased the allocation for the AYUSH Ministry by 1630 crores to promote education and research in indigenous systems of medicine. When Mr. Shripad Naik assumed office as Minister of State in the AYUSH Ministry on May 30, he stressed on the need to increase the infrastructure required for the dissemination of indigenous healthcare treatments. We hope that government will increase the budgetary allocation this year, and lay out a roadmap to better integrate the use of naturopathy and yoga as these two systems can be developed with minimum cost into our primary healthcare systems. This will help us reduce the burden of NCDs in the long term and bring down the economic burden of health for patients with limited financial resources,” K. K Ghosh, Chief Administrative Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, said.

WISH Foundation

"A lot rides on the allocation for the healthcare sector in the upcoming Union Budget, especially considering the fact that the interim budget left a lot to be desired in terms of a concrete future roadmap to improve healthcare delivery systems. Health spending needs to go up from 1.15 % to 2.5 % of the GDP by 2025 if we are to get closer to meeting the UN’s sustainable development goals and achieve universal health coverage.  Although the healthcare sector attracts a lot of investments from private players, most of them go to secondary and tertiary centers while the bedrock of the health industry, primary healthcare, is in shambles with just one primary healthcare center for every 51,000 people.  The proposal to set up 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centers in rural areas by 2022 is ambitious, but the government needs to leverage public-private partnerships to make it a reality. We also hope that the Union Minster allocates resources to roll out more programs that focus on promoting preventive care practices to reduce the disease burden of non-communicable diseases, which are currently responsible for 61% of all deaths in the country, a number that is only set to go up due to rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes," Rajesh Ranjan Singh, COO, WISH Foundation said.

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