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Union Budget 2012: Industry expectations for healthcare budget and its impact on people

Written by Admin |Updated : March 14, 2012 7:51 AM IST

HealthcareThough there was a decent 20% hike in the allocations for healthcare in the Union Budget 2011-12, the industry was not happy as most of the items on their wishlist were not fulfilled. Moreover, FM proposed service tax on services provided by centrally air conditioned hospitals with 25 or more beds. It was consequently dismissed after a while after a debate in Lok Sabha.

So, what is the healthcare industry expecting this year from the Union Budget?

1. A minimum allocation of 2.5% of GDP. Last year, this stood at 1%. According to a report released by WHO, India stands 171st out of 175 countries in terms of spends on public health.

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2. The healthcare sector needs to be provided with the 'infrastructure' status so that it can attract more investments.

3. Reducing import duty on medical equipment and requirements which need to be imported. This will help the Industry pass on the benefit to the people, thus reducing the cost of healthcare. This will also help us to be at par with other countries in terms of healthcare and can help boost medical tourism.

4. Doctors who choose to work in rural areas need to be incentivized.

5. Government needs to work closely with hospital chains to promote the public-private partnerships model, thus providing better healthcare to rural India.

6. The tax holiday for new hospitals especially in smaller towns and rural areas should be extended from five to 10 years, thus promoting more healthcare centers in these places.

Tell us what your expectations from this budget are for the healthcare sector.

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