'Budget 2020 must focus on affordable elder care'

'Budget must have two-fold purposes: home healthcare, affordable elder care'

By Amit Sharma,

"With the government’s vision of ‘healthcare for all’, we expect Budget 2020 to have two-fold purposes: ‘home healthcare’ and ‘affordable elder care’. A large section of India’s population is expected to enter old age and with that comes, chronic or terminally ill patients who will need medical attention. However, taxation policies as of now do no cover the home healthcare expenses and the cost of tests. There need to be concrete policies that ensure accessible and affordable healthcare; this could be done by exempting critical health equipment from the GST. This year’s budget should be a relief in this aspect of the healthcare industry as it will prompt more people to take up health-checkups and help in achieving the expected CAGR of 27% by 2023. If the government relieves the ‘taxes under Section 80D’ associated with the cost of preventive check-ups, we would be able to focus on this segment of our population. As opposed to the last budget, 2020 Budget should put emphasis on ways to increase funding in the healthcare sector."

(The writer is Founder and CEO at eExpedise Healthcare )