“Budget 2018 has definitely added significant impetus to the healthcare sector with emphasis on the elderly and underprivileged. The biggest declaration by the Hon’ble Finance Minister was the health protection scheme where 10 Cr poor families – for secondary and tertiary treatment – will get 5 lakhs per family. This announcement could be the first steps towards Universal Healthcare in India.
The Finance Minister announced that 24 new government medical colleges will be set-up and this could be a big incentive for medical education in the country. The allocation of Rs. 1200 Cr towards health & wellness centres and Rs 600 Cr towards nutrition for patients suffering from Tuberculosis are positive steps.
We were pleased to hear in the Budget that the Government has allowed Senior Citizens to claims benefits of Rs 50,000 as part of medical insurance – earlier this was Rs 30,000. However, the government’s discontinuing of Rs 15,000 per annum for medical benefits to salaried employees – as per today’s Budget announcement, is unfortunate.
We welcome an increase in the cess from 3% to 4% as tax revenues – slated to be around 11,000 Cr, is welcomed and we are looking forward to seeing how the government intends to utilize and distribute the revenues collected from this cess increase.”