Here’s what healthcare sector expects from Budget – CNBCTV18

Here’s what healthcare sector expects from Budget – CNBCTV18

Pandemic has changed the way healthcare is looked at in India. The second wave took its toll and it clearly indicated the need for more budget allotment to the healthcare sector. As per one forecast, the hospital industry in India is all set to increase to Rs 8.6 trillion ($ 132.84 billion) by FY22 from Rs 4 trillion ($61.79 billion) in FY17 at a CAGR of 16–17 percent.

The government of India is planning to increase public health spending to 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP by 2025. The National Health Policy emphasizes more investment in preventive and primary healthcare. Also, it aims at increasing the access of free drugs, diagnostics and emergency care services at all public hospitals.

India has seen a massive increase in lifestyle disorders. The urbanization has led to increase in faulty lifestyle, more alcohol and greasy food consumption. With the reduction in physical activity, there has been a steady increase in obesity, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. As per one survey, close to 5.8 million Indians die from NCDs (heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes) every year. The rising NCD is going to be a huge burden on Indian economy.

It is right time to push for genetic profiling and pharmacogenomics in India. We are already seeing a lot of entrepreneurs entering the field of biotechnology. A number of venture capitalists are funding the biotechnology startups. We are amongst the 12 destinations for biotechnology on the world map. This sector is key contributor to India’s vision of reaching a $5 trillion economy by 2024.

The biotechnology industry in India previously valued at $11 billion in 2016 is all set to reach $100 billion by 2025. With the advent of biotechnology parks, better facilities have been made available to scientists and SMEs for developing technology and building pilot plants. This has resulted in the reduction in cost of technologies such as genome sequencing and medical sensors.

Genetic profiling is the need of the hour and it will lead to the reduction in lifestyle diseases. The country needs a healthy and fit population to become a world giant. Gene profiling will make Indians more aware about their physical make up. It will help in making informed lifestyle choices, which will result in the reduction of future medical bills and physical distress.

2022 will witness more investment in the healthcare sector, especially in the field of hospitals, medical devices and equipment, health insurance, clinical trials, telemedicine and medical tourism. India being a technological hub is also helping healthcare sector. Many startups are using AI and machine learning to provide detailed reports to the patients around medical conditions. Already experiments are underway for using drone technology for organ transportation.

The availability of skilled labor is also making it a favored destination for medical tourism. With the uplift of travel restrictions India might witness a surge in medical tourism. Government needs to lift up visa restrictions and make more green corridors to push medical tourism.

The author, Hima Jyothi Challa, is Director at GenepoweRx. The views expressed are personal

First Published: Dec 10, 2021, 09:30 PMIST


Budget lifestyle