The increase in the allocation of the budget for the National Health Mission (NHM) and the launch of the ‘National tele-mental health programme’ in the last Union Budget 2022, was a step forward in the right direction. We expect this budget to increase the allocation for mental health and further build resilience of national mental health infrastructure, as well as incentivise the strengthening of the talent pool of counsellors and mental health professionals – to handle the massive mental health challenge we are facing. We need additional investment in skilling other healthcare personnel such as nurses and lab technicians as well.
On the digital front, now that a robust platform and infrastructure for managing digital registries of healthcare providers and patients is created, there is a dire need to boost adoption and accessibility. The government should allocate more budget for rolling out this initiative. The creation of longitudinal data for the masses will unlock several use cases such as data interoperability, personalised healthcare recommendations, hyperlocal pharmacy data, etc., and will further accelerate India’s digital health agenda.