Health New Delhi: Health providers showered  praise on 2023 Union Budget. They have found focus on research, Pharma R & D and capacity building commendable. There seems to be an element of playing to the gallery as well.

Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj , Gynecologist, Obstetrician and IVF Expert, Nurture Clinic said, ‘ Government’s initiatives in the sector of the establishment of 157 new nursing colleges in core locations, launch of a mission to eliminate sickle cell anemia by 2047, entailing awareness creation and universal screening of 7 crore people in affected tribal areas in 0 – 40 years of age are really commendable ‘

According to her Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a common blood disorder with a high prevalence especially in the central and western regions of the country, and poses a considerable health burden. a lack of awareness towards SCD resulting in high disease burden in various parts of our country.  Spreading awareness about this disabling disease is the need of the hour and as a gynecologists’, I am with the government in this direction.

Announcing their step towards financial empowerment of women, the budget has put their best foot forward with the Mahila Samman Saving Certificate initiative. This will further encourage and financial independence among women.

Mrs Dr Bajaj further says, ‘Further, a holistic view on health considering clean water, hygiene, sanitization, vaccination, nutrition and pollution was also appreciated.’

Dr Aashish Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Healthcare, said, ‘ The healthcare sector applauds the Union Budget 2023. The healthcare sector sees the light of day with the incentivisation of pharma R&D and the announcement of the formulation of a new programme for research in pharmaceuticals that will encourage investment in research.

Dr Chaudhary further said, ‘ It is promising to note that the government has accorded priority to medical education, setting up Nursing Colleges, and promotion of research in the healthcare sector. The proposed Mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 is also a positive step entailing awareness creation and universal screening of 7 crore people in the age group of 0-40 years in tribal areas. The announcement of setting up 157 Nursing Colleges in the core locations of the existing 157 medical colleges is a step in the right direction at improving the nurse-patient ratio in the country.’

According to Dr Chaudhary, another big announcement of the availability of select ICMR labs for private research and development teams would have a positive transformational impact across the health delivery system and create a renewed health ecosystem. Also, encouragement for cohesive collaborations in the sector is the need of the hour to achieve the targets of health for all.

Summing up, Dr Chaudhary said, ‘ However, the government should throw more light on public-private partnerships (PPP) to etch out sustainable improvements in the healthcare system. Simplifying the rules and regulations for opening new facilities, encouraging startups, providing tax & incentives and promoting technology adoption would be lauded by the community at large and create new opportunities for private healthcare players to thrive.’

Dr Rajendra Patankar, CEO of Jupiter Hospital, which functions out of a Green Builidng says, “We really welcome what the finance minster said about the Green Buildings. The attention the government plans to give on Green Buildings and environment is something that we as a country really need specially with the threat of Climate Change looming large. We are a developing country and that is why the Budget’s focus on research and development, talked about by the FM is also hugely welcome.”

Dr Amardeep Kohli, CEO, PSRI Hospital welcomed the Budget 2023-24 terming it a people friendly and pro-development Budget. He said, ‘The Budget stood out for its focus on overall infrastructure development, environment and green buildings. Another positive thing is the focus of research and development. From the purely medical sector point of view the establishing of 157 new nursing colleges is a big boast to medical sector.  Another big announcement is government’s plan to work in a mission mode to eliminate sickle cell anemia by 2047. A major move for the medical sector is the announcement that facilities of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) labs will be made available for private R&D (research and development) teams to encourage collaborative work. In addition, we welcome a new programme to be launched to promote research and innovation in pharma through centres of excellence.’

Dr NK Pandey Chairman & MD, Asian Hospital Faridabad, said, ‘ The healthcare fraternity welcomes the Union Budget 2023 presented by our honourable FM Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. Overall, the budget seems to be balanced with a focus on every aspect of healthcare.

We welcome the government’s initiative to eliminate sickle cell anemia by 2047. The proposed focus to eliminate the disease in 17 crore people between the age of 0 – 40 years in tribal areas is a great step forward and we are with them on this mission.

Dr. Pandey further added that, the budget looks futuristic with a focus on medical research, laboratory, research & development, collaborative research and innovation. Announcing the facilities of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) labs to be made available for private research and development teams should encourage collaborative work and have a positive impact across segments in healthcare sector. Further, the call to establish as many as 157 new nursing colleges in the core locations of the existing 157 medical colleges established since 2014 is the step in the right direction for enhancement of nursing education in the country. Also, a new programme to be unveiled to promote research and innovation in pharma through centres of excellence will have a significant impact in the sector.

Dr Rajiv Chhibber ,Vice President SMT ( Sahajanand Medical Technologies) said, ‘ SMT welcomes the progressive Union Budget announced today by the Hon’ble Finance Minister. The government’s strong approach towards accelerating green infrastructure development, R&D in the Pharma and MedTech sector, skill development, and sustainability along with digitalisation push will give a strong impetus to the overall economy. We particularly applaud the key announcement of setting up of Centres of Excellences in the Medical Devices sector focusing on skill development through dedicated multidisciplinary courses ensuring availability of skilled manpower for future futuristic manufacturing of high-end medical technologies. This is a positive indicator for the MedTech Industry which is largely import dependent.  Further, other key announcements towards Green Growth, Youth & Women empowerment, Agri & Digital push, Education and reaching the ‘Last Mile’ to improve economic conditions of particularly vulnerable groups are welcome especially as we reach the 2030 threshold of achieving the SDGS. All in all a forward-looking budget that will lay the modular economic structure for every section of business and society as India enters the Amrit Kaal and holds the G20 Presidency.’