63% doctors seek tax rebate in Budget '18

ANI | Updated: Jan 31, 2018 20:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 31 (ANI): Like other professionals in the country, doctors too are expecting taxation reforms from the upcoming Budget to increase the affordability of social security, healthcare, and insurance.

Curofy, an online community of 220,000+ verified doctors, conducted an opinion poll amongst 2,500 doctors on their expectations from this budget and 63 percent doctors voted in favour of income-tax rebates.

Apart from tax rebates, 14 percent doctors believe that universal health insurance, is the need of the hour, and as of now people are not able to afford it.

As per a National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) survey, 86 percent of rural and 82 percent of the urban population depend on income or savings to fund their hospital expenditures.

"These direct payments to healthcare providers at the time of service causes large out of pocket expenditures accounting for bulk medical spending by patients. Universal health insurance will resolve this dominant problem," said Dr Shalini Singh, a practising dentist in Delhi, who is an active member of the Curofy community.

"India is a country with unequal distribution of wealth and especially in healthcare, if the burden of the tax is reduced through giving further rebates on medical insurance or pension schemes, then it will be a move which will encourage investments", said Dr Akanksha Mishra, a gynaecologist practising with Fortis Gurgaon.

12 percent doctors were of the opinion that an increased share of the healthcare sector in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be the main focus.

As of today, healthcare contributes 1.5 percent of our GDP, far below the global average of 5.95 percent as of 2014.

"The nation is empowered only when healthcare is empowering", said co-founder, Curofy, Pawan Gupta.

"This aptly sums up the need of the hour, at least in the healthcare scene in the country. We are truly becoming a potential economic superpower, a force to reckon with. But can we realize that potential without the well-being of our people?" Gupta added.

On a related note, the Budget will be presented on Thursday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

This will be the last full-fledged Budget of the Narendra Modi-led government and the first post the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). (ANI)