India Budget 2018
Overall, this has been a pro-people and a pro-poor budget. For the first time, Universal Health Care has got the impetus it needs. I am quite happy with the government’s plan to introduce 24 new medical colleges. That is the only way to address the glaring lack of talent in the industry. The 1.5 lakh centres which will provide free essential drugs and diagnosis is a welcome move and a step towards boosting the Government’s National Health Policy. The flagship national healthcare protection scheme which will cover 10 crore, underprivileged families, is a highly commendable initiative. Through the budget, the government has definitely shown its interest in making healthcare more accessible and affordable through the Ayushman Bharat programme.
Another highlight of the budget has been the focus on fighting the ever-growing hazards of pollution from both crop burning, promotion of gas connection in houses using wood fire for cooking, among others. By not just talking about healthcare, but its indicators as well, the government is definitely on the right track towards improving the sector across the country.
We truly hope that going forward, the government also has plans for utilisation management, financial monitoring, audit mechanisms and accountability.
[Ameera Shah is the Director of Metropolis Healthcare Limited]