“India needs a healthcare model that hinges on affordability and access. This calls for existing public health infrastructure to be revitalised, new medical centres to be built and modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based telemedicine technology to be leveraged for addressing the demand-supply gaps in terms of doctors and health facilities, especially in the rural areas. To achieve these goals, this year’s Budget must look at increasing public health spending to be between 2-3% of annual GDP, which has been hovering around 1%. Besides ensuring the ‘Right to Healthcare’, the Budget also needs to significantly raise its investment in research and innovation. According to the Department of Science & Technology, India’s spending on scientific research, as a percentage of GDP, has plateaued at 0.69%. To propel our nation into the elite league of the Top Three countries in Science & Technology by 2030, the government will need to ensure that the Indian scientific community gets the kind of funding needed to make research breakthroughs that have global impact.”
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