New Delhi: The provisions of the General Budget 2017-18 presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on Wednesday will help a large number of patients avail of critical health facilities, according to Dr Dharminder Nagar, managing director, Paras Healthcare.
Commenting on the budget proposals, Dr Nagar said, “The most notable announcement on the healthcare front in the budget has been that of two new AIIMS for Jharkhand and Gujarat. Given the need for expanding the reach of public healthcare, we need an AIIMS in every state. This will also help enhance medical education in the country.”
Dr Nagar further said, “Another important element is the pledge to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025. India has the highest burden of tuberculosis, a disease which has been successfully eliminated from a large part of the world. While 2025 seems an ambitious target, it is a highly imperative one for our country.”
“We have also heard a new pledge by the government to bring down the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) to 100 by 2020. Another important announcement that we welcome pertains to ensuring availability of drugs and medical devices at reasonable prices,” he said.
“In patients undergoing long term treatments, high medical bills due to high cost of drugs and devices such as pacemakers often force people to stop treatment. In this light, these steps will help a large number of patients avail of critical health facilities,” according to Dr Nagar.
“However, the most notable step is decreasing a tax component of the people earning between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. This highlights that they shall have more spending power and we hope that in the wave of fitness and prevention, people will not ignore or postpone health check ups and shall opt for diagnostic care,” he added.