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Experts recommend India should now focus on clinical trials, research, innovation & technology to become the largest global health technology center

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 14:15 Hrs  [IST]

Experts while commenting on Union Budget has recommended that India should now focus on clinical trials, research, innovation and technology as there is potential for India to become the largest global health technology center. As an additional opportunity, India can generate employment and be a healthcare service provider for the world.”

While commenting on the budget, Dr. Prathap C Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “The Covid-19 pandemic was an unprecedented medical crisis and it underlined the importance of building a resilient healthcare infrastructure. Today, the finance minister’s said health was her first pillar and her announcements to develop primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare systems will provide access to medical care for all in our country, fuel job creation and boost economic momentum.

He further added that India’s efforts in managing the pandemic have been exemplary – our frontline workers and scientists have been working tirelessly to save lives and develop indigenous vaccines. Now the allocation of Rs. 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccines and more if required, makes our glorious nation stand tall as a model for the world. We must now look at the next crisis of non communicable diseases, which will be responsible for 80% of deaths and cause a US$ 3.8 trillion burden to the country by 2030. It is important to focus on prevention, early detection and possible cure to protect Indian families from grief, financial burden and to help the GDP grow.

On behalf of NATHEALTH, Preetha Reddy, president, NATHEALTH and executive vice chairperson, Apollo Hospitals said, “This will strengthen preventive health and ensure frontline allied health worker skill building while increasing robust community surveillance of emerging infectious diseases. This announcement reinforces the commitment government made earlier under the Ayushman Bharat programme to strengthen public health and community health through health and wellness centres.”

Adding to her comments, Siddhartha Bhattacharya, secretary general, NATHEALTH said, “Using India’s deep experience in digital health, skilled manpower availability, clinical trials, manufacturing prowess and proven ability to deliver affordable excellence in healthcare, India can emerge as a global centre of excellence for holistic healthcare weaving the preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative spectrums. This can position healthcare as a top employment generating sector while bringing in valuable investments to fund the journey towards universal healthcare, reducing out of pocket investments.”

Said Neerja Birla, founder & chairperson, Mpower, "We appreciate the measures proposed by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget to take a holistic approach to healthcare in the Union Budget 2021, by focusing on preventive and curative healthcare in addition to wellbeing. While the allocation to healthcare in this budget has increased substantially, we believe mental healthcare also deserved a special mention. As aptly mentioned by the FM in the Budget speech, last year was an undeniably tough year for our physical and mental well-being. Covid-19 has brought India’s mental health crisis to the fore. Unfortunately, the rising number of cases of mental illness has not been accompanied by a parallel rise in the budget allocation for mental healthcare. Amidst the challenging and competitive era that we are living in, it is extremely crucial to acknowledge the importance of mental healthcare and invest in educating citizens to make them aware of mental health services available in India while taking measures to alleviate the stigma associated with it."

Sharing his views, S. Purnachandra Rao, the new national president for Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) said, “Growth-oriented and transformative, the Finance minister's 2021-22 budget includes many welcome signals for entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment. To begin, allowing 74% FDI in the insurance sector is a 'game-changing' reform. The boost to healthcare and infrastructure, areas dear to American companies, will lead to more FDI and better employment opportunities. We specifically laud their decision here to set up seven textile parks. Moreover, we at the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), welcome the government's encouragement to NRIs to operate One Person Companies of OPCs in India. They've done this by reducing the registration timeline from 182 days to 120 days.”

Prashant Narang, co-founder, Agility Venture Partners further added, “The budget looks promising for the start-up industry as measures like an extended tax holiday will help the start-up scenario in the country. Consequently, focus on skill development by partnerships with UAE and Japan, as well as reforms proposed for MSMEs like collateral free loans and funds for MSMEs is a highly encouraging move for the sector. Overall, the new-budget is welcomed for its positive focus on boosting entrepreneurship in India.

Commenting on the Union Budget 2021, Kishore Narne, head – currency & commodities, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd said, “Government has made their intentions clear to put the gold exchange initiative on fast pace by proposing SEBI as regulator for the same. This will now pave way for a new era of gold trading in to India. Government also rationalised the import duty on gold, through some of it was taken back in the form of agriculture infrastructure and development cess (AIDC), but still the overall duty was reduced by 2.5%. On the otherside they tried to garner more resources to support agriculture through special cess and also initiated few duty hikes like in cotton to protect domestic farmers.”

According to Dr Gautam Sen, chairman & founder, Healthspring said, "This government ever since it came to power has been giving importance to basic health issues like public health in “Swatccha Bharat” addressing better sanitation for all, Ayushman Bharat by Financing Tertiary Care Expenses for those who are below the poverty line, the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jana Aushadhi Yojana” where generic medicines are made extremely affordable and culminating into “Health Policy 2017” where it rightly gives importance to wellness and health and invites all section of healthcare providers to participate in Nation’s health outcomes.


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