This year’s Union Budget needs to introspect over the various programmes undertaken within social sectors like education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, employment and infrastructure. The new National Health Policy which was declared last year in March 2017 has laid down broad guidelines with respect to the role of the Government in shaping healthcare. Currently Indian Healthcare sector is growing at 15%.
To ensure that this growth is maintained, the Government needs to create a positive environment for ease of business and investment based growth.
The DPCO (Drug Price Control Order) needs to be revisited as it has stopped many new molecules to enter Indian markets which is detrimental to the health of people. Similarly, some of the procedures priced under Government Insurance schemes is non-viable for private healthcare Institutes. The private sector caters to over 70% of the population and such policies challenges their existence. The sector continues to face stiff shortage of skilled manpower. The proposed National Medical Commission encourages establishment of more private sector institutes to create skilled clinicians and staff. Unfortunately, this Commission fails to address the quality of training that these Institutes will impart. With such challenges – lack of skilled manpower, infrastructure, quality monitoring and increasing disease burden (NCD) esp. Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Cancer – it’s time for the Government to utilize technology based solutions and create an environment to promote these interventions for treating NCDs. This area would need investment and focus which will not only bring huge benefits, it may also be a source for job creation in the country.