It is encouraging to see that the government is establishing a National Programme to direct efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence.This and the fact that there is a major focus on healthcare in the budget this year will benefit organizations like healthi aiming to provide more people with access to preventive healthcare. It remains to be seen how the setting up of a National Health Protection Scheme, the world’s largest government-funded universal healthcare programme, will take off. If implemented in the right manner, it can prove to be a big enabler for healthi and like-minded organizations.
A survey conducted by healthi and titled ‘Healthi Insights India 2017’ highlighted the fact that about 91% Indians consider health a priority and intend to make healthy changes. While there is awareness on the need to shift to a healthier lifestyle, what was lacking was an adequate push and investment in this sector. With the health and wellness centres focusing on NCDs among other things and Rs 1200 crore being allocated for these, we are hopeful of this sector getting a renewed impetus. We are also happy about the push towards women’s health. However, a major disappointment is the fact that there are ambiguities in the tax regimen for healthcare providers with GST exemption restricted to certain sections.