'Budget can give funds for the growth of telemedicine'

Budget 2021 | 'Budget can earmark funds for the growth of telemedicine'

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo.

By Shashank ND,

FUTURE OF DIGITAL HEALTHCARE IN INDIA 

Getting an informed opinion on their health without having to physically set foot in a hospital during a pandemic has made people realize and trust the benefits of telemedicine.

Even as vaccines have arrived and life is slowly limping back to normal, predictions indicate a digital future for the healthcare delivery system – that is accessible, affordable and expands into a broad range of medical specialties.

The coming months will see robust adoption of online platforms to cater to the requirements in high-risk groups that include patients suffering from chronic diseases, mental health concerns as well as the elderly, who are often in need of consistent caregiving.

Tremendous efforts are being made by government bodies, doctor associations and private players to deliver quality healthcare to every village and city in India. And it’s possible only through advanced technology and forward thinking.

 UNION BUDGET 2021 EXPECTATIONS FOR TELEMEDICINE

With a systematic restructuring of India’s entire healthcare infrastructure already in the works, it is highly likely that the Union Budget 2021 will earmark funds for the growth of telemedicine, which has already proved its mettle during the viral outbreak.

Schemes like Ayushman Bharat and projects that are being initiated under the National Digital Health Mission are painting a promising picture that the Modi government is dedicated towards taking specialist medical care to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

Preferential policies and adequate financing will support research and technological innovations, paving the way for a more agile healthcare ecosystem in the country. We are also expecting announcements on awareness campaigns and skills training programmes to improve the public health system.

Revised taxation regimes will also ensure that people from various financial and geographical backgrounds can access care remotely. Healthtech firms and authorities can work hand in hand to cover the last mile and go beyond.     

(The author is the CEO and CO-founder of Practo)