Governments across the world are the single largest payors for Healthcare and Indian Government can make healthcare more accessible and affordable by approving Universal Healthcare. India spends 1.15% of GDP on healthcare currently and BRICS (sans India) on average spend 7.42%. Much larger spend than the 2.5% target in 5 years needs to be envisioned by the Government so as to make healthcare accessible in India across patients of varying incomes.
While healthcare services are exempt from GST, Government also needs to make various cost line items of healthcare service providers exempt from GST. For example, GST has increased NephroPlus cost structure across various equipment’s purchase, maintenance, and consumables by levying higher GST than previous taxes! Comprehensive look at tax impact on service providers is the key. For example, dialysis equipment and consumables are subject to very high import duties and taxes.
Government also should increase budget allocation for National dialysis program as >80% of patients in India are still dying due to kidney failure. While increasing budget, ensuring that right contracts structure is key and also ensuring that service providers are accountable for well-defined objective clinical outcomes is crucial to ensure quality care across India.