Healthcare startups hail decisions made in Budget 2018
New Delhi: With healthcare being a key focus in this year's Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced a number of schemes and measures that are expected to benefit the healthcare sector.
Hailing the decisions announced by the government, Rekuram Varadharaj, co-founder, and COO, healthi said, "It's encouraging to see that the government is establishing a National Programme to direct efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence. This and the fact that there is a major focus on healthcare in the budget this year will benefit organizations like healthi aiming to provide more people with access to preventive healthcare."
He added that it remains to be seen how the setting up of a National Health Protection Scheme, the world's largest government-funded universal healthcare programme, will take off. If implemented in the right manner, it can prove to be a big enabler for healthi and like-minded organizations.
Echoing the same, Dr Anand Lakshman, founder, and CEO, AddressHealth said, "The healthcare budget this year is certainly a path-breaking one due to its sheer size, coverage, and amount committed per family. Setting up of 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers with access to free essential drugs and diagnostic services is a plus. These centers will also address children's health and therefore will prove to be an enabler for organizations like AddressHealth working in this area. We also welcome the allocation of Rs. 600 crores to provide nutrition to TB patients."
He added that while healthcare institutions, doctors, and medical service providers are exempt from the GST mandate, there seems to be no such respite for startups and organizations working on preventive healthcare and education. What would fall under exemptions in the healthcare segment needs to be revisited."