Budget 2022: The Government Should Increase Healthcare Spending From 2-3% Of GDP To 10% Over The Next 10 Years, Says Bombay Chamber Of Commerce

Suggests that a roadmap can be announced to ensure 100% health insurance coverage

Considering that currently the dependence of the Indian Pharma Industry remains very high on China & other countries for imports of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) & even devices and lack of adequate healthcare infrastructure, demand-supply mismatches and shortages of basic supplies that came to fore during the pandemic, there is a need for the government to announce a detailed roadmap for rectifying the gaps in the healthcare sector, industry body Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry(BCCI) said in its Pre-Budget Memorandum 2022-23.

Currently, India lacks an all-encompassing public healthcare system; there is wide disparity between states etc. The number of tertiary care centres across major metros itself are extremely less and the situation is worse in Tier 1&2 towns. Thus, while deadline-oriented targets should be clearly laid out, the accountability for these targets should also be highlighted. In this effect, there is a need for sharp increases in healthcare spending (without accounting for outlays for water and sanitation) directed towards healthcare infrastructure needs to be presented.

Hence, BCCI recommends increasing Healthcare spending from current 2-3% of GDP to 10% over the next 10 years. The government should earmark a certain proportion of disinvestment receipts to boost infrastructure in healthcare.

Like in the case of infrastructure sector, the government should look towards partnering with and incentivizing major corporate hospital groups to expand and offer quality affordable healthcare at tertiary level across the country. Partnering with the private sector could enable faster adoption of technology in healthcare services and thus improve operational efficiency.

The industry body suggests that a roadmap can be announced to ensure 100% health insurance coverage and to make appropriate provisions for promoting & encouraging local resource in terms of enterprise to develop & manufacture these critical APIs.

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