“It is heartening to see the increased focus by the government in improving healthcare infrastructure especially with focus of Prevention and Early diagnosis. Along with increased outlay for healthcare, 5 lakhs insurance coverage for 10 Cr families, access to CSR funds and increased focus on PPP programs healthcare sector should see a never seen new momentum next year”.
"We welcome the government’s move to provide healthcare cover to 10 Crore families as part of the National Health Protection Scheme. This is a big step forward and will help millions of people afford healthcare for themselves and their loved ones. Implementation of the scheme would be central to its success. I believe successful implementation will depend on optimal use of private healthcare providers and technology to make it seamless, convenient & transparent for the consumers.
“The focus on healthcare sector is welcome. The scheme as announced is the largest healthcare scheme in the world. This appears to be the start of a social security program. While the concerns on increase in fiscal deficit are well founded, if the spends lead to better standards of living and provides a security net for the poor in times of economic distress, then welfare objectives of growth can also be taken care of.”
Standard deduction has been reintroduced but at a cost, it takes away medical reimbursement and travel allowance. There were several demands to raise medical reimbursement from 15,000 and bring it up according to current prices (the amount has been same since more than a decade). However, now the clamour for raising this limit will die down. With this, for a salaried, the amount taxable under salary shall be reduced by Rs 5,800. While cess will go up by 1%. Senior citizens have much to rejoice and will face much lower burden of taxes, this is especially crucial in the falling interest rates from banks and deposits.
Union Budget 2018 can clearly be called a historic one as far as Healthcare is concerned.
There were 2 key highlights this year. The first was the proposed launch of the flagship National Health Protection Scheme which would cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families and provide up to ₹5 lakh per family per year for hospitalization in secondary and tertiary care institutions. With 50 crore beneficiaries, this would be one of the largest benefits program of its kind in the world.
"The Union Budget 2018 presented addressed many of the concerns of rural India and that of the MSME sector. We applaud Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley, for introducing measures to alleviate some of the pain points they suffer. The outlay for healthcare and education is a much needed boost to create a more healthy and skilled & educated India.
Rajiv Nath expressed deep disappointment and anguish over the Union Budget 2018-19 giving cold shoulder to the Indian Medical Device Industry.
"It is a very welcome step by the government of India to provide subsidized healthcare for the poor in the country. It is a splendid step towards building a new India.
Emphasis on improving and extending the healthcare schemes to the grassroot level was the need of the hour. The ambitious plan that the government has announced in this sector is a welcome move. Initiatives like the National Health Policy of 2017
“The government’s focus on rural development and agriculture is a welcome step. The long overdue emphasis on our rural economy and agriculture will stimulate demand.
“The budget provides rightly provides a focus on Agriculture, Healthcare & Education. The big move towards the path of Universal Healthcare Coverage under the flagship National Health Protection scheme which will bring 50 crore citizens with Rs 5 lac/family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization is transformational for the country.
“There are two announcements which will impact the healthcare delivery industry. The Suraksha Bima Yojana enhanced limit of 5 lakh rupees per family is yet to be launched, so the details and capital allocation will only be known when it is launched. However, the intent is quite positive, as almost 40% of underprivileged population would be able to access the secondary and tertiary care healthcare, and this would increase the market size for healthcare providers radically.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced major allocations to the health sector. Here are some of the key highlights from the FM's speech:
"The government has reiterated its commitment to ‘Universal Healthcare’ and has announced flagship schemes to provide better healthcare to people at bottom of the pyramid – National Health Policy and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana. These schemes will expand the reach of basic healthcare facilities in the country.
Healthcare Industry: "Fueled by the 1200 Cr allocation for healthcare, what is exciting is the 1.5 lakh new healthcare centers that are going to be initiated. For a country that presents the highest number of patients in area of Breast Cancer and Head and Neck (Oral) Cancer cases in the world, these centers needs to be equipped with primary Onco scanning and treatment options.
"Overall, this has been a pro-people and a pro-poor budget. For the first time, Universal Health Care has got the impetus it needs. I am quite happy with the government's plan to introduce 24 new medical colleges. That is the only way to address the glaring lack of talent in the industry.
"We applaud the announcements made by the Government in the Union Budget 2018 which has indeed addressed a lot of issues that will help the economy to prosper. It aims in creating the largest healthcare blanket for the biggest democracy of the world.The Government's initiative of setting up 1.5 lakh health facilities across the country will help bring healthcare closer to homes of the people, and will enable them to receive medical help within the golden hour hence improving the chances of survival.