Budget 2020: Allocation for senior citizens, a boon

Budget 2020: Allocation for senior citizens, a boon

Representative image. (Getty images)

By Meena Ganesh

The allocation of INR 9,000 crore for senior citizens in the budget will be a boon for both the elderly and companies working for their benefit if used in a timely and proper manner. The allocation for skill development of teachers, nurses, paramedical staff and caregivers is encouraging and will help improve the standard and quality of care in India’s public health system. While an increase in the import duty of medical devices will help the homegrown medical devices sector flourish, it may negatively impact those living with chronic conditions in the immediate future. Amid the fear of new epidemics around the world, the move to leverage AI and ML for developing a preventive regime for targeted diseases is a good step. There was also an emphasis on the next wave in the digital revolution for the seamless delivery of services in different sectors. It is encouraging to note that the government has a holistic vision of healthcare. The move to set up PPP mode hospitals in areas where there are none is positive, with priority being given to 112 aspirational districts. Although an additional INR 69,000 crore has been allocated to the health sector, we hoped to get some clarity on how this fund will be divided across different domains in healthcare. We hoped to see some clarity around the home healthcare sector and its formalization, which was completely missing. Overall, we have seen some pro-development policies in the budget this year and are also happy to see that healthcare was not absent from the agenda this time. A financially and physically fitter India will enable better economic growth ahead.  

(Meena Ganesh, MD & CEO, Portea Medical)

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