It’s essential that the federal government offers acceptable fiscal incentives and creates a sustainable public coverage to encourage funding in non-public healthcare infrastructure
In Funds 2021, prioritisation of the healthcare sector shall be of utmost significance. Whereas India fought COVID-19 fairly nicely and with vaccines simply being rolled out, the pandemic has proven us all that well being is the brand new regular and going ahead it shall be considerably measured by sanitation, hygiene and preventive healthcare. With a market dimension of 1.4 billion individuals, the federal government should look into attracting investments into these sectors by way of present in addition to startups.
Attracting investments in healthcare startups
The answer to handle the hole in accessibility and affordability of healthcare is to make sure home-grown technology-driven improvements that facilitate manufacturing and supply of medical units inside the nation. Nevertheless, policymakers should use this chance to align sources/budgets to make sure accessible, equitable, and high quality healthcare for all residents. This must be addressed within the Funds with a particular allocation for healthcare supply, personnel, infrastructural developments, and a particular give attention to improvements by supporting startups on this subject.
The federal government can contemplate assigning healthcare startups underneath MSME class which is able to allow them to get the prolonged benefits. Banks must also contemplate flexibility in lending to such startups as it’ll give the much-needed increase to not simply the startups but additionally to the healthcare business.
Digitisation of healthcare
In 2020 the healthcare sector has been fast to alter and adapt to digital transformation. Going ahead, such modifications ought to go to the following stage ably supported by Synthetic Intelligence, Large Information, Analytics, digital data and telemedicine. Whereas we attempt for seamless digitization, we additionally must work for defense in opposition to knowledge breaches and safeguard all such knowledge.
Expectations on taxation vis-a-vis healthcare
It’s also essential that the federal government offers acceptable fiscal incentives and creates a sustainable public coverage to encourage funding in non-public healthcare infrastructure. Hospitals needs to be included underneath the definition of ‘industrial enterprise’ u/s 72A of IT Act. This has been a long-standing demand, crucial to expedite non-public funding in capability constructing and to make sure that healthcare is handled at par with different sectors.
At present, the advantages of a deduction for CAPEX are prolonged solely to hospitals having a minimal capability of 100 beds. No advantages are supplied to smaller hospitals/nursing houses in rural areas. Given that there’s an pressing want for enlargement of healthcare services in smaller cities and rural areas, the advantages u/s 35AD of IT Act needs to be prolonged to hospitals having a minimal of fifty beds in tier II, III and IV cities and, a minimal of 25 beds in rural areas.
Main and preventive care is important for a robust healthcare system. It’s endorsed that tax exemption on preventive well being checkups be raised from the present Rs 5,000 per individual (Rs 7,000 for senior residents) to Rs 20,000 u/s 80-D of IT Act. Additional, whereas grappling with COVID-19 , hospitals have needed to make substantial capital expenditure in direction of making structural modifications within the constructing structure, air-flows and so forth., and vital recent funding in medical gear, severely straining money move and operational sustenance. On the GST entrance, the federal government wants to contemplate the zero-rating of GST for healthcare companies.
Healthcare Infrastructure investments
The finance ministry has devised an inspiring Rs 111 lakh crore Nationwide Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for 2020-25, which incorporates Rs 1.69 lakh crores for infrastructure improvement initiatives for healthcare. There may be additionally a necessity to extend the proportion of allocation on well being analysis in general well being expenditure to no less than 6 p.c of the funds allotted to the Ministry of Well being and Household Welfare.
Healthcare needs to be accorded ‘Nationwide Precedence’ standing, as was carried out for the IT sector, to herald requisite consideration and funding. Progressive long-term financing constructions, particular healthcare zones, subsidised price for land and electrical energy, increased FSI for hospital buildings are a number of the measures wanted for enhancing infrastructure creation in healthcare.
The author is chair, FICCI Well being Providers Committee and Chairman, Medica Group of Hospitals
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