- Healthcare industry today welcomed the government's plan to open more AIIMS-like institutions in the country, saying it would bring down the cost of treatment.
Healthcare industry today welcomed the government's plan to open more AIIMS-like institutions in the country, saying it would bring down the cost of treatment.
"Finance Minster's announcement of building four AIIMS (like) and 12 government medical colleges will help in bringing healthcare services cost down," industry body NATHEALTH Secretary General Anjan Bose told PTI.
Expressing similar views, Apollo Hospitals Managing Director Suneeta Reddy said the proposals for 4 new AIIMS like institutions and thereafter in every state in the coming years augured well from affordability perspective.
This would also be helped by the proposal to increase FDI to 49 per cent in insurance sector that "has a direct bearing on access to overall coverage with healthcare being a critical subset", she added.
Presenting the Budget for 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said two key initiatives -- free drug service and free diagnosis service -- would be taken up on priority as part of move towards 'Health for All'.
Charting out the healthcare roadmap of the new government, Mr Jaitley said plans have been firmed up to set up four more AIIMS like institutions at Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP is under consideration and a sum of Rs 500 crore has been set aside.
Mr Jaitley in his Budget speech today said the government will provide central assistance to strengthen the States' Drug Regulatory and Food Regulatory Systems by creating new drug testing laboratories and strengthening the 31 existing State laboratories.
However, consulting firm Deloitte in India Senior Director Charu Sehgal said: "The almost negligible focus on healthcare in this budget was disappointing. There was hope of the government increasing health expenditure closer to the 2.5 per cent of GDP as well as of announcing initiatives that would encourage private investments aimed at improving healthcare availability in underserved areas."
Commenting on the budget, Fortis Healthcare Executive Chairman Malvinder Mohan Singh said: ""Higher budgetary funds for building infrastructure for Medical education, Engineering and Management are welcome steps."
PwC leader pharma and life sciences Sujay Shetty said: "Free drugs and free diagnostics for all, sounds potentially promising for patients."