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Budget 2022: Healthcare sector gets shot in the arm, say experts

New Delhi: Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, presented her fourth Union Budget on Tuesday, with an emphasis on the healthcare sector in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Sitharaman began her address introducing the Budget by emphasizing the importance of boosting the healthcare sector.

"We are in the thick of the Omicron wave, and our vaccine campaign's rapidity has tremendously aided us." We are in a solid position to resist challenges thanks to the rapid strengthening of health infrastructure during the last two years. "With Sabka Prayas, I am optimistic that we will maintain our robust growth," Nirmala Sitharaman stated.

Nirmala Sitharaman announced last year that the government will spend Rs 64,180 crore on healthcare over the next six years.

Ashraf Biran, founder & director, Wellness Forever Medicare, “The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for achieving Aatmanirbhar Bharat has received an excellent response, it is estimated to further create a boost for the healthcare industry. Union Budget 2022-2023 is focused on digitization with the introduction of the National Digital Health Ecosystem which will bring the entire network under one umbrella . This will surely help the healthcare providers’ with better access to the public and vice-versa. Retail Pharmacies with the help of this move can shift their processes in a digitized format allowing better customer service and thereby paving the way for interlinked businesses to merge. We are hoping that exemptions related to drug prices are announced in order to put the healthcare sector in the forefront.”

Tarun Gupta, Co-founder, LISSUN "As a result of the pandemic, a lot of entrepreneurs had stepped forward to address the challenge of rising mental health issues in India. The cases of depression and anxiety disorders witnessed an increase of about 25% globally, and by 35% in India alone. The National Mental Health Programme and Health and Wellness Centres alone could not have reached every individual in the crisis that they might face struggling in a moment. The easy access was the primary point of concern for everyone trying to help towards the issue. The government has recognised this, and addressed the same by launching Tele mental health service. The budget inculcating the fact that focussing mental and emotional wellness is the need of the hour, itself talks about how progressive we are becoming in our approach as a nation." 

Dr Preet Pal Thakur, Co-founder GlamyoHealth, "The primary challenge in delivering fine health services was the lack of awareness and access. A person sitting in tier 2 city might not even know about the presence of a probable medical facility to his current challenge. With the launch of the open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem this particular gap will be filled in a single go. As the Budget mentioned, the platform will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, which will serve the purpose of access and availability of information.

Founder and CEO Dr. Suman Katragadda, HEAPS  - AI Driven Health-Tech SaaS Platform, “The Union Budget 2022-23 is curated to make some strong strides  on the road of recovery, as the nation has fought a tough battle with COVID-19.  Impetus given to the healthcare sector in the form of announcing the National Digital Health Ecosystem which will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities. With the help of this digital ecosystem, the public can access higher quality healthcare facilities as well as healthcare workers can provide quality driven service. This will also pave the way for additional digitization in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Software as a Service (SaaS) companies.”

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