Healthcare industry body NATHEALTH on Monday urged the government to allocate funds to introduce medical education programmes that can address the shortage of skilled healthcare manpower in the country.
The industry body, as part of its Budget wishlist, also sought development of hospitals in smaller towns with adequate infrastructure to take care of patient needs.
“In the aftermath of COVID, it is imperative to build infrastructural capabilities so that people can access quality and critical healthcare services. The pandemic has made us realise the need of equipping hospitals in tier 2 and 3 towns with adequate infrastructure such as diagnosis centres, ventilators and oxygen plants through increased budget outlay and greater investments,” NATHEALTH Senior Vice President Harsh Mahajan said in a statement.
This will also add up in creating employment opportunities, he added.
Besides, the urgent need of the hour is to allocate funds and introduce medical education programmes that can address the shortage of skilled healthcare manpower in the country, Mahajan noted.
“The sector has not been able to derive the benefits of the GST transition. In fact, the embedded taxes in the sector have increased in the post-GST regime compared to pre-GST scenario. Therefore, it is imperative to rationalise GST to unlock embedded credit trapped in the healthcare value chain,” he added.
NATHEALTH Senior Vice President Shravan Subramanyam noted that for the Indian medical technology sector to be viable, it is imperative to waive off the duty and cess.
He also sought release of sectorial payment dues to free up the working capital for investments in inventory of critical care and lifesaving equipment.
“NATHEALTH believes that to scale up and move towards Universal Healthcare Coverage, collaborative efforts from stakeholders across the public and private sector will be pivotal,” he added.
The industry body also sought that healthcare be declared as a National Priority sector, classifying it on the same lines as agriculture (priority-sector lending).
It also emphasised on, addressing the issue of shortage of workforce by increasing seats in medical colleges, expanding the private insurance cover, channelising CSR funds to add beds, advanced machinery, and training of healthcare workers and investing in emergency ambulances and medical/testing infra for rural India where the pandemic is gaining grip.