Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s first full budget has allocated approx Rs 33,000 crore for the healthcare sector but going by early reactions, he has fallen short of expectations.
Nilaya Varma, Head of Healthcare sector, KPMG in India commented that while it is a welcome move to set up new AIIMS, especially in states like Bihar and J&K which would strengthen the tertiary care infrastructure in these states, the pressing need is to strengthen the primary and secondary care network, if we have to create better health outcomes.
New All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be set up in J&K, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Assam.
Amit Bansal, Chief Executive Officer, HelpingDoc.com, said, “The increased healthcare budget allocation is step in the right direction but the amount is still far too less to built an effective and credible public healthcare system in India. The good news is that healthcare has started to get the due attention.” He also commented that the increase in tax exemption limit for health insurance will have significant impact on the penetration of health insurance in the country and would help corporates to offer a wider range of health packages, and would go further to reduce out-of-pocket health spending.”
The pharmaceutical sector got mentioned just once, with the proposal to set up special pharmaceutical education institutions in Maharashatra, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.