The budget should allocate enough for digital and other advancements in healthcare technology. Today the high costs of imported medical devices are posing a big challenge for the healthcare industry in India. The Government needs to look at giving incentives to the indigenous medical equipment manufacturing sector. In addition to being in line with the Government’s ‘Make in India’ endeavor, this will also reduce the cost burden for patients.
Around 6 million people in India succumb to cancer, heart and lung diseases, stroke and diabetes annually. Preventive health check-ups can help in early diagnosis and timely treatment of such diseases. This will result in lesser complications, mortality and cost burden for the patients. Tax exemption (under section 80-D of the Income Tax Act 1961) on preventive health check-ups should ideally be substantially increased.
Also, despite the introduction and promotion of health insurance schemes, the overall coverage and penetration is still very limited. We expect the health insurance coverage in the country to be strengthened in the coming years. The government can also consider substantially increasing the financial coverage under Ayushman Bharat available for cancer patients.
Globally there is acceptance of the growing significance of molecular genetics in diagnosis as well as clinical management of various cancers.The government should help create a regulatory environment extremely conducive for promoting research in the field of cancer genetics by creating a hub for cancer research. Quality research in cancer genetics will go a long way in making new therapies available to Indian patients at very affordable costs.
Datar Cancer Genetics Limited