Listing out her expectations from the upcoming Budget 2017, Vandana Luthra, Founder, VLCC on Friday said that she expects that the healthcare services and health insurance premiums should be exempted from GST (once its rolled out) to ensure easy accessibility for people at large. She also sais that she is hopeful that the healthcare expenditure will be increased for the FY 2017-18. “India’s population is increasingly at a higher risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, blood–pressure, obesity and hypertension. It is essential for the Government to focus on preventive healthcare by making quality medicines available at affordable prices and also through investment in preventive healthcare measures,” she added.
“The Government should also introduce schemes to increase health insurance coverage and also increase tax exemption limit.” “We also suggest that the government should consider lowering the tax rate for preventive health care services,” she quipped. She also suggested additional rebates for senior citizens. Meanwhile, a global health body recently said that the health budget this year should focus on expanding the paradigm of technology in healthcare and government should support initiatives which work towards creating healthcare systems based on technology.
“Given the significance and uptake of technology across all sectors and considering the digital and technology enabled push by the government, it is imperative that the focus this year should be to expand the paradigm of technology in healthcare. Steps need to be taken to ensure growth of evidence-based Health and Government should support initiatives working towards creating a better healthcare system using technology,” the body said.
Narendra Modi government will be presenting Budget 2017 on February 1. Yesterday, Supreme Court dismissed the plea to change the Budget date from February 1. The Budget is special not only for the fact that it has been preponed but more importantly because it comes within months after Modi government’s massive demonetisation drive. Most analysts and economists expect Budget 2017 to be tax-payer friendly, especially given the pain that common man has faced after old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes ceased to be legal tender money.