Dr. ALOK KHULLAR* bats for low-cost land and power to make healthcare affordable.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has taught the healthcare sector some important lessons. The healthcare sector has and will continue to play a crucial role in saving lives, treating other ailments while tackling the pandemic.
With the disruption caused to the healthcare sector during this period, we urge the government to give adequate importance to the healthcare sector in the upcoming Union Budget 2022 by considering:
- Special schemes that should be provided for formal training of doctors and nurses to enhance skills and bandwidth to offer care to a larger population which will help strengthen the quality of healthcare resources in the longer run
- Building capacity for Intensive Care by enhancing skills of nurses and by providing better equipment and infrastructure
- Significance to be given to Appropriate Screening for Non-Communicable Diseases to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment which will help in reduction of hospitalisation in the last minute
- Upgrading infrastructure at Primary Health Care level for early Outpatient treatment thus reducing Hospitalization time and cost
Benefits to be given to manufacturers of Healthcare equipment and consumables under the ‘Make in India’ campaign for high quality products and healthcare equipment to be manufactured at reasonable costs
Healthcare organisations must be given access to working capital and preferential funding to ensure that the overall cost of operations is reduced.
Healthcare sector needs to be considered as a priority and an essential service. Various subsidies and benefits should be given on land rates and other necessities such as electricity, as it will pave for accessible and affordable healthcare with better infrastructure and high-quality treatment improving access to care and better patient outcomes. (*Ther author is CEO, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai)