Union Budget 2020: Nayati Healthcare founder Niira Radia shares expectations
With just a few days to go for the presentation of Union Budget 2020, several sectors are eyeing the big announcement. The Indian medical industry is no different, and has high hopes from the upcoming budget. Recently, the Chairperson of Nayati Healthcare, Niira Radia revealed her budget expectations.
"India is at the cusp of becoming an economic powerhouse over the next two decades, which would only be possible with the support of a robust healthcare infrastructure that is available to our masses and not limited to the metros. The government should exempt the import duty on life-saving healthcare equipment. It should also encourage the domestic production of such equipment's. 'Make in India' in the healthcare sector should be fast-tracked and incentivised," Radia said.
She added, "The creation of healthcare facilities in the non-metros needs to be incentivised to facilitate early diagnosis of growing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This would correspondingly make them easier and economical to treat, thereby enhancing the probability of the disease reversibility. Soft loans, tax holidays, subsidised land are also some of the areas to be worked upon in this direction."
According to Niira Radia, while 'Ayushman Bharat' is covering a specific section of the society, access to tertiary care centres still remains a challenge. Ayushman Bharat is a welcome step and would evolve over time. Currently, it is restricted to the 50 million Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, and does not cover the remaining population – as much as 80% of which does not have any access to any form of medical care services. Insurance penetration is less than five per cent, which leaves approximately 50 per cent of the population without any health cover.
According to the Nayati Healthcare Chairperson, India needs to move towards an inclusive healthcare policy available for every citizen. "Keeping pace with the advancements in technology is imperative for the Indian healthcare sector to grow, and thus the government should take some measures to support investment in Research & Development, with an aim to bolster new product and technique development. This would, in turn, generate employment and contribute to the development of the economy," Niira Radia said.