The healthcare budget this year is certainly a pathbreaking one due to its sheer size, coverage, and amount committed per family. Setting up of 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers with access to free essential drugs and diagnostic services is a plus. These centers will also address children’s health and therefore will prove to be an enabler for organizations like AddressHealth working in this area. We also welcome the allocation of Rs. 600 crores to provide nutrition to TB patients.
However, we would have liked to see more allocations towards children’s health what with the number of health issues plaguing them today. Increasing the insurance cover has been a very good step. This will make sure that more people fall under the insurance gambit. One area of disappointment, however, is that the allotment of taxes is ambiguous. While healthcare institutions, doctors, and medical service providers are exempt from the GST mandate, there seems to be no such respite for startups and organizations working on preventive healthcare and education. What would fall under exemptions in the healthcare segment needs to be revisited.