Pre-Budget Quote: Mr Saurabh Kochhar, Founder and CEO, Meddo

Mr Saurbah Kochhar, Founder and CEO, Meddo shares his thought on the expectation from the Union Budget with respect to the healthcare space, he says “Health & Healthcare has been a point of focus in the last year. It is heartening to see how the government has been promoting healthcare startups in India and increasing the spending on healthcare. However, it is now time to double down and address what needs to be worked upon – both at macro and micro level. That starts with overall health spending. Last year, the budget allocated only 1.29% of the GDP to healthcare. That needs to increase substantially this and in the coming years. We have to have enough funding to achieve our goal for affordable and accessible healthcare. We need enough pending on healthcare access and infrastructure, health insurance, and extending funding to outpatient and preventive care. More specifically, it is high time that out-patient care should be mandatorily put under the aegis of health insurance cover including Ayushman Bharat to make it more accessible. While a lot of focus in recent years has been on hospitalisation and related expenses, we have to now shift our attention to reducing hospitalisations through enabling quality outpatient interventions. Reduction of GST rates on life-saving drugs can pave the way for affordable medicine, and adequate tax holidays and concessions for health entrepreneurs, R&D, etc. can usher a golden era of innovation-driven healthcare in our country. Lastly, we now need to bake in incentives for startups and institutions working to further the digital health agenda laid out by the government through NHA and NDHM.”