Budget Expectations - Healthcare (Updated)

We have been following the budget every year very closely, expecting some attractive incentives for the healthcare industry and sops for growing companies like Vaatsalya. While our position and expectations as an industry player has been highlighted in the media (Business Today, CNBC TV18), as a doctor, citzen of India and consumers, we also have additional expectations and hope to see all of these addressed by the finance minister in his union budget.

As consumer
– tax incentives on preventive health checks to encourage more proactive health management (Update – Service Tax continues!)
– remove service tax on health checks, which is a unnecessary hassle to begin with and leads to confusion for the consumer. (Update – 5% service tax for hospitals added!)

As a doctor
– income tax incentives for practising in tier II and III towns and encourage migration to small towns. (Update – No luck)
– Tax breaks on quality initiatives/accreditation expenses like NABH, NABL etc which will bring standards and protocols into focus in healthcare industry. (Update – No luck)
– Investments in information systems and clinical data management should be incentivised (Update – No luck)

As a citizen
– Increase public health spending to 3% of GDP (Update – Getting Closer)
– Encourage public private partnership to improve quality of overall healthcare industry by creating broad framework (Update – No luck)

And finally as a company
– Infrastructure status to hospital industry to encourage investments and funding (Update – No luck)
– 10 year tax holiday to encourage penetration in smaller towns. The incentives provided last year were restrictive, and it would be best to allow blanket approval. (Update – No luck)

Update – A unhealthy budget for India.

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