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Pre-budget expectations: Vikram Thaploo, CEO, Apollo Telehealth

The government’s efforts in rolling out an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem (also known as Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission or ABDM) and launching the National Tele Mental Health Program are genuinely noteworthy. However, additional funding allocations are required to further accelerate the expansion of the healthcare sector, particularly telemedicine.

The 15th Finance Commission recommended the Centre increase healthcare spending and indicated that public health spending in India should account for 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025. The Center is expected to spend around Rs 86,000 crore in FY23, somewhat higher than the Rs 84,000 crore authorised in FY22. The Indian health tech market had a $1.9 billion market value in 2020. With a 39 per cent CAGR, it is projected to reach $5 billion by 2023. From 2019 to 2024, the digital healthcare market in India, which was valued at INR 116.61 billion in 2018, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27.41 per cent, reaching Rs 485.43 billion. The industry is growing at a spectacular rate as a result of its expanding coverage, services, and rising investment by both public and private participants.

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With more technological innovations expected to revolutionise the healthcare industry in the years to come, the budget must be well allocated to initiate innovations. This is especially important in a country like India where digital technology can help bridge the gap in healthcare. Increased allocation of funds for home-based care, promotion of telemedicine services, and national digital health mission implementation will further help build a strong healthcare ecosystem in India. There should also be a renewed focus on R&D in different medical fields to strengthen the present standing. Overall, we are anticipating a rise in fund allocation of 2.5-3 per cent of the GDP with regard to the healthcare sector.

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