Vishal Bali on His "Budget Wishlist"for the Indian Healthcare Sector

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Annual 2009 Indian budget promises to pave way for some big ticket economic reforms. While the Industry is expecting the finance minister to give a pep pill to the Indian Economy by accelerating Government Spending in Infrastructure ,the Indian Healthcare Industry needs some urgent reforms to take care of its large population and their healthcare needs.

Here is Vishal Bali,CEO Wockhardt Hospitals who lists out his "Budget Wishlist" to improve the "Wellness Index of India"

  • India has 16% of the world’s population ,18% of the world’s mortality, 20% of the worlds morbidity and healthcare expenditure in the country is a miniscule 1% of Global expenditure.As one of the fastest growing economy’s in the world we cannot afford to rank 171 out of 175 amongst countries surveyed by WHO in terms of percentage of GDP spent in public sector on healthcare.
  • In the same survey India ranks 17th in terms of private sector spending on health which now contributes 4.3% of the GDP spent on healthcare in the country.Amongst the BRIC countries India ranks the lowest with a 5.2% of GDP spent on healthcare while Brazil spends 7.6%,Russia 6.1% and China 5.4%.
  • It is therefore time that India drives its economy on the fundamentals of growth in the healthcare sector and Budget 2009 should provide the necessary impetus for this growth.
  • Give Infrastructure or National Priority sector status to the sector to support and improve the overall investment in the sector both at the urban and rural level.
  • Govt spending on healthcare must increase to 2% of GDP from the current 0.9% to provide higher outlay for healthcare infrastructure expansion and provision.Public and Private healthcare combined spending should target 7% of GDP
  • Reallocation of resources of Govt spending on healthcare, higher outlay towards health insurance coverage schemes to widen affordability and accessibility.
  • A National Disease Surveillance Authority to be set up under the Ministry Of Health to consistently map,monitor and survey the prevalence of disease segments amongst the population in the country.
  • Provide immediate impetus to grow the health insurance sector.Table and pass the Insurance reform bill to increase FDI in health insurance cos; to 49%. Move towards compulsory health insurance coverage.
  • Introduce Healthcare Investment Zones to provide Medical Technology cos; and consumable manufacturers subsidized real estate and 10 year tax holiday to help local growth of this industry.
  • Introduce a Wellness Tax Incentive for employers towards implementation of preventive and wellness initiatives for employees and their families.
  • Reform Medical Education system to enable higher private sector participation.


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