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Budget 2022: Medical experts demand increased expenditure, investment in innovation

New Delhi: The onset of a public health emergency highlighted the weak links in India’s healthcare industry with the subsequent widening of the gap in its accessibility. The rise in both COVID and Non-COVID patients led to an increased number of people seeking medical treatment. While steps like National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), domestic manufacturing of pharmaceutical ingredients, telemedicine services announced by the government can help in improving the current status of healthcare, medical experts suggest that the health sector needs more investment to meet the requirements. The rampant surge in COVID cases during the third wave that India is facing currently has brought sharp focus on allocations that will be made for healthcare in budget 2022.

Talking about expected allocations in budget 2022, Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals said, “We expect increased allocation for healthcare in budget 2022 since we still have a lot of ground to cover in our expenditure on healthcare. There is a need to spend on strengthening our primary healthcare system which is the backbone of healthcare in India, public healthcare, preventive healthcare in addition to nutrition in children, and aggressive vaccination campaigns to include COVID-19 vaccination for all. We also need to strengthen the public healthcare system by upgrading the infrastructure and personnel at government hospitals

Further highlighted that there is a need to invest more in diagnostics labs, set up more medical colleges especially in underserved areas and invest in technology to bridge the rural-urban divide in healthcare and make healthcare available for all in the country by expanding our universal healthcare schemes.

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