The government has expressed its intention to create a surplus capacity in healthcare infrastructure. The plan to increase public expenditure on healthcare and ramp up health and wellness centres in remote areas will certainly help the needy in availing health services, especially since India’s spend on healthcare is only 1.3% of its GDP and needs severe bolstering. There is a need to carve out a concrete plan on building healthcare infrastructure at tertiary levels both in the government & private sectors, create more diagnostic centres and increase procurement of antibiotics, medical devices etc.
Mr Pavan Choudary, Chairman and Director General, MTaI said: “ In our opinion, Aatma Nirbharta (self- reliance) in the medical technology sector would be achieved when we can make competitive products in India and when People of India can be treated in India without having to travel abroad and spending precious foreign exchange, when the tertiary care facilities will expand in the government sector too, when R&D flourishes to handle our problems as well as respond to global opportunities, when every Indian healthcare workers get trained as well as his best global counterpart.”
MTaI appeals the Government to:
- Commit a definitive package on developing healthcare infrastructure and procurement and to increase fiscal spend to 2% of GDP in 2020-21 and 3% by 2021-22.
- Announce special fiscal package to release all pending payments to maintain cash flow to the providers and suppliers.
- Increase patient affordability by reducing customs duty, health cess and GST on medical devices which cannot be made in India in the short and medium-term, to handle the COVID crisis.
- Restart the elective surgeries in all zones, with a special initiative for transportation of patients and ensuring stringent safety guidelines.
- Bring down aviation fuel cost, so that cost of logistics in shipping devices across the country is reduced.