Budget 2016 expectations: Present growth oriented budget, ensure long-term optimism

New Delhi | Published: February 26, 2016 3:27:02 PM

Budget 2016 expectations: Last budget didn’t impact the medical devices sector as there was no change in taxation or healthcare spending. It will be heartening to see the Government present a growth oriented budget this year that sets ahead a clear direction to ensure a long-term optimism.

Budget 2016 expectations: Last budget didn’t impact the medical devices sector as there was no change in taxation or healthcare spending. It will be heartening to see the Government present a growth oriented budget this year that sets ahead a clear direction to ensure a long-term optimism.

·         Relax import duties – Any increase in import duties will be detrimental to the health care sector. 70% of the medical devices today are imported. The increase can be an impediment towards providing quality patient care in India. Reduction in import duty on medical devices would also likely reduce the overall cost of treatment.

·         Expand and institutionalize the ambit of social health insurance to ensure that the population accessing public healthcare facilities is able to avail services free of cost beyond those being provided by the national health programs associated with communicable diseases.

·         Strengthening the government healthcare set ups and ensuring surveillance of govt spends on healthcare – Governance mechanisms should be established to ensure equitable health access to all cadres of population

·         Budget should have an impetus ontrustworthy accreditation and innovative education by creating centres of excellence (CoE) to bring standardized clinical practices in healthcare.

·         Innovation, science and technology budget allocation – to enable creation of public platforms to promote better linkages between industry and academia and R&D labs by encouraging CoEs for research and education

·         Spend more- The healthcare industry will want the government to spend more on healthcare. An increase in healthcare spending from 1.3 per cent to 5 per cent of the GDP will be a welcome step.

·         It is important to benchmark the standards of quality of care, against global best practices. In fact the govt should create a mechanism to review and adopt patient and healthcare worker safety guidelines issued by agencies like WHO on an annual basis in an evidence based manner. Incentivization should be considered for facilities following best practices including preferred empanelment with private and public health insurance agencies.
By Varun Khanna – Managing Director, Becton Dickinson India & South Asia

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