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Budget 2013: 'Healthcare delivery system should be improved'

Dr N. Krishna Reddy, CEO of CARE Group of Hospitals, says the budget must look closely at how people are being covered for their healthcare costs and take measures to extend the coverage to more people.

twitter-logo E Kumar Sharma        Last Updated: February 22, 2013  | 09:43 IST

Dr N. Krishna Reddy, CEO of CARE Group of Hospitals
Dr N. Krishna Reddy, CEO of CARE Group of Hospitals
Dr N. Krishna Reddy, CEO of CARE Group of Hospitals, says the budget must look closely at how people are being covered for their healthcare costs and take measures to extend the coverage to more people.

Given the current challenges, what, in your opinion, would make a good budget? What measures or proposals would you like to see?
I would like to see a clear focus on addressing infrastructure bottlenecks. The budget must address this issue otherwise double-digit economic growth will only remain a pipedream.

Given the constraints the government faces in raising revenue, do you see a case to increase income tax rates on the rich? Please identify the cut-off in income beyond which you would classify the person as rich.
The government could certainly look at taxing the rich but it must also look at ways to check tax evasion and at collecting taxes from people who are supposed to pay but do not - these could be people from all sections, be it politicians, bureaucrats or industrialists.

It is difficult to accurately define rich but perhaps one could rely on the yardstick of per capita income and maybe define rich as those who earn several multiples more than the per capita income, say at least 10 times more.

If the budget does not meet expectations, do you fear that business sentiment would once again dip?
I do not think so, for business is moving ahead irrespective of the government.

Specific to your sector, what could the current budget do to improve conditions?
The budget must look closely at how people are being covered for their healthcare costs and take measures to extend the coverage to more people. That apart, there should also be a focus on improving the healthcare delivery system. Both the public sector and the private sector are not perfect in this. There is scope to improve this in different ways, either through better infrastructure or by improving efficiency and quality.

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