By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], February 1 (ANI): The health sector has been allocated Rs 89,155 crore in the Union Budget, a hike of around three per cent over Rs 86,200 crores allocated in 2022-23.
Satish Reddy, Chairman, of Dr Reddy's Laboratories said, "An inclusive Budget from the Finance Minister with a boost to critical areas such as education, agriculture, healthcare, environment, digital, start-ups, skilling and others. For pharma, announcements on a new programme to promote research and innovation through centres of excellence, collaboration with the ICMR laboratories, and encouragement to investment in R&D point to much-anticipated support to innovation in pharma.
"Allocation of over 2% of GDP to health, dedicated multi-disciplinary courses for medical devices, the mission to eliminate sickle-cell anaemia and centres of excellence for artificial intelligence for cutting-edge solutions were other highlights. We welcome these announcements and look forward to studying the detailed proposals."Reddy added.
Dr Prathap C Reddy, Founder Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group said, "Caring for the wellbeing of citizens is integral to nation building. India stands tall for putting people first, and this Union Budget, the first in the Amrit Kaal, resonates with this ethos."
"India's economic growth is amongst the highest in the world and a defining edge is a youthful demography. Therefore, the impetus for skilling is noteworthy. Also, it is heartening that 157 new nursing colleges will be established as it will contribute to improving the nurse-patient ratio, a step in the right direction towards Universal Health Coverage. It is also the right step towards India building a global workforce, to serve the world," C Reddy said.
"Setting 157 Nursing colleges is a welcome step as there is a huge shortage of qualified nurses in our country, much more than doctors. Promotion in research and manufacturing of medical devices in our country is a much-needed welcome step. Focus on Green Technologies in all sectors will help in reducing diseases due to environmental pollution," Dr Ravi Wankhedkar
Past National President IMA said.
"Continuing the PM Garib Kalyan Scheme will help to enhance the nutrition of poor people, especially children and help in improving their immunity making them less susceptible to diseases. Of course, details will have to be seen regarding the increase in health budget vis a vis GDP percentage and rationalisation of taxes on the health sector," Wankhedkar added.
Reacting to the Budget, Dr Ajay Swaroop, Chairman (Board of Management ), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, "This year's budget is really good. We are very pleased that this year's allocation of funds for health care has been increased in this year's budget. The start of 157 nursing colleges will help in shortening the gap in students for nursing care, also initiative to eliminate Sickle Cell Anemia is a welcome step."
However, Rajive Nath, Forum Coordinator Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) said the Budget was disappointing for Medical Devices Industry, "No measures to end 80-85% Import Dependence forced upon India."
"It is disheartening that against our optimistic expectations and assurance by the various Governments Departments, the government has not announced any measures to help end the 80-85% import dependence forced upon India and an ever-increasing import bill of over Rs. 63,200 Crore," Nath said.
Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Founder & Director, Manasthali Wellness said," We welcome the announcements made by the government in Budget 2023, particularly for the health sector. The government has taken several initiatives to strengthen the health sector in this year's budget compared to last year. From planning a mission to eliminate Sickle-Cell Anaemia by 2047 to creating a new program for pharmaceutical research as well as providing facilities in select ICMR labs, all will be made available for research by public and private medical facilities, but some announcements to boost the area of mental health are still missing". (ANI)