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Post Budget reaction: Gautam Khanna, CEO, PD Hinduja Hospital & Chairman FICCI Health Services

Budget 2023-24 focussed on enhancing India’s capabilities and resources through increased manpower, R&D, and PPP in the healthcare sector. Setting up 157 new nursing colleges is welcome, given the severe shortage of nurses in the country. However, the current state of existing nursing colleges must be evaluated for upgradation and better job opportunity for nurses to be identified to curb international migration. The idea of setting up a Center of Excellence in AI for health along with the strengthened impetus towards medical education will accelerate the development of new-age, technology-driven medical solutions for better disease management and encourage start-ups to come up with Innovative solutions in the Healthcare Delivery space. Creating awareness of prevention and early screening is not only essential in eliminating sickle cell anaemia but would also be a great stepping stone for similar diseases, however, its success will depend on effective implementation. The increased focus on encouraging medical education and PPP will aid the industry’s growth. The budgeted increase in healthcare expenditure of 15 per cent does not seem to be enough to tide over the current challenges of the upgradation of infrastructure and providing accessibility and affordability for quality healthcare in the country. We are looking forward to clear indications of the steps to be implemented for healthcare infrastructure development and moving closer towards universal health coverage with increased expenditure as a percentage of GDP. It would have been better if there were tax exemptions for healthcare, which is vital to reduce healthcare expenses and pocket spending.


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