Post budget reaction || Sector: Healthcare Finance (CareCover)
Nivesh Khandelwal, CEO and Founder CareCover, said, “The FM said there was a holistic vision of healthcare. It was heartening to know that Mission Indradhanush has been extended to cover new diseases and new vaccines. And fit India is part of it. It was highlighted that more empanelled hospitals in Ayushman Bharat will be added, especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities to benefit poor. The focus on PPP model hospitals as announced will set up under viability gap funding to look at areas where there are no hospitals. Overall the road map is good, however, the execution of programmes, bridging the gap between the haves and have nots, is of paramount importance for the sustainable development and progress of the country.”
Khandelwal added, “In India due to out of the pocket expenses, about five crore people are pushed below the poverty line due to the burden of healthcare expenditure. This is something where the policymakers can seek collaboration from players working in the domain. One of the solutions that we are providing is to convert your out-of-pocket expenditure into easy EMIs with zero % rate of interest for 12 months.”
Post Budget reaction || Sector: Insurance and health cover (Easypolicy)
On bridging the protection gaps vis insurance and talking about housing covers, Divyanshu Tripathi, Co-founder and CEO, Easypolicy, said, “Overall it was an average budget. We appreciate the government’s move to launch LIC’s IPO. This will help create awareness about insurance in the interiors of our country. The idea needs to be more towards shifting insurance to protection; people should be investing in their protection in a planned manner. The government should take measures to simplify the health insurance plans to counteract the mounting out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE). Though health insurance sector has gained momentum in tier 1 & tier 2 cities in recent years. However, there is a need to create awareness about the benefits of buying health insurance in tier 3 to tier 5 cities. The government should have incentivised the health insurance buyers by raising the deduction limit for medical insurance premium under Section 80D from Rs 25,000 to at least Rs 50,000 for self and family.”
Tripathi further added, “Women being the anchors of their respective families should have been especially incentivised. In 2018-19, women bought 103 lakh life insurance policies and contributed Rs 36,525 crore of premiums (individual life insurance new business). Besides, the removal of GST could have reduced the cost of a policy, making health insurance affordable for individual policyholders. However, it is great to see major income tax cuts for individuals, this would help them to do better financial planning and buy better insurance policies with more benefits.”
Post Budget reaction || Sector: Healthcare (Shifa Care)
Manish Chhabra, CEO & Founder of Shifa Care, applauded the Union budget 2020- 21, saying, “10% increase in Healthcare Budget to Rs 69,000 Cr is welcoming. As mentioned over 6 million new taxpayers were added in the last two years and by 2030 India will become the largest workforce, India should invest dis-proportionate increase in healthcare budget to healthy working India to catch up to OECD spend.”
Chhabra further commended the budget, saying, “Creating more medical colleges at district level hospitals is a welcoming step, a however quality framework to education and appropriate job prospects for young doctors should be created. We would like to see innovation investments in the new era of Medicine of Targeted Medicine for immuno-oncology, biologics & biosimilars to have more patents under India’s name with Public-Private Partnership (PPP).”
Chhabra added, “IPR is a critical step to generate Intellectual properties and protection will attract more innovation and entrepreneurship. E.g. All India Genome mapping would enhance preventative health and quantum computing is the future of speed and computing. We are acutely conscious for removal of manual scavenging and welcome Rs 85,000 Cr for implementation of technology, as we see it relatively connected to healthcare budget which has been allocated, healthcare needs to be prioritised proportionally.”
Post Budget reaction ll Sector: Social development
SOS ChSudarshan Suchi, Secretary-General, children’s Villages of India, said, “It’s heartening to know that FM presented the budget keeping three important themes in mind, viz aspirational India, economic development and caring society. However, in totality, it was an average budget. Talking about the social development sector, the overall trend of the budget is unlocking more potential investments in the charity sector’s development. Secondly, a few positive steps in education and conscious efforts in healthcare were highlighted. The consolidation of all these steps will support the expectations of the social development sector.”
Such added, “Both for aspirational India and economic development children are the foundation. And for them, caring society is need of the hour. Thus, the holistic development of children can’t be ignored. And here, the underprivileged children form the major chunk of the population. 20 million children don’t get adequate parental care today and this number will increase to 24 million by 2022. So focus on these children is of paramount importance for the country’s progress.
The allocation of INR 35,600 for nutritional related programmes for children welfare and equipping 6 lakh women Anganwadi workers with smartphones for nutritional updates, isn’t enough. But whatever is provided now, needs to be properly utilised with a strict mechanism in place.
When we talk about a caring society, SOS children’s villages of India has a proven model to care for abandoned children. Here, such kind of social development organisations needs enough support from the government and other stakeholders.”