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Budget 2021: Healthcare workers request govt to raise healthcare sector spending

Centre should increase healthcare budget for ramping up infrastructure to fight Covid-19, say healthcare service providers

twitter-logoPTI | January 27, 2021 | Updated 16:10 IST
Centre should increase healthcare budget for ramping up infrastructure to fight Covid-19, say healthcare service providers
Healthcare workers helped the country navigate the COVID-19 pandemic

The government should increase healthcare spend in the ensuing budget for ramping up the infrastructure in the sector, healthcare service providers have said.

"The public spend in healthcare needs to increase from the current 1.2 per cent to at least 2.5 per cent of GDP in the next 3 years, much of which should be invested in creating and modernising our infrastructure. Hopefully, the budget for 2021-22 would take the important first step towards this," Manipal Hospitals MD & CEO Dilip Jose said in a statement.

Rapid and proactive actions of the government and the tireless efforts of healthcare workers helped the country navigate the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it exposed the chinks in the healthcare system, and highlighted the need for a major infrastructure revamp, he added.

Highlighting the expectations from the budget, Metropolis Healthcare Promoter & MD Ameera Shah said, "The lack of adequate public health infrastructure in India combined with a high Out-of-pocket expenditure imposes a high financial burden on Indian households and therefore increasing the healthcare budget allocation in the coming decade is of utmost importance". The need of the hour is to strengthen the provisioning of healthcare services through public-private partnerships, she added.

"While the healthcare segment has been a key focus area and part of country's development plan through various comprehensive initiatives including Swachh Bharat, Ayushman Bharat, National Digital Health Mission and now 'Mission COVID Suraksha', the long-term response to the virus needs a significant part of budget allocation," SRL Diagnostics CEO Anand K said.

Also Read: Budget 2021: Measures FM Nirmala Sitharaman should announce to spur pandemic-hit economy

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