New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting the Union Budget 2021 on Monday at 11 am. Almost every sector and industry is having a lot of expectations from this year's budget as this will be the first budget after India reeled under the havoc wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic forcing closures, which caused huge losses to businesses and industries.

Now as the Union Budget 2021 is just around the corners, different sectors have started suggesting the government their demands which they expect in this year's budget in order to overcome the wrath of coronavirus pandemic. Among different sectors is health care which has been on the forefront during these testing times.

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Ahead of the Budget, the healthcare service providers have presented their demands in front of the government. The health care service providers have asked the government to increase the spending on the health sector. They demanded that the investment in the health sector should be increased from the current 1.2 per cent to at least 2.5 per cent of GDP in the next three years, adding that most of the chunk should be invested in modernising and creating new infrastructure.

Manipal Hospital CEO and MD Dilip Jose, as reported by news agency PTI said, that the rapid actions of the government and the tireless efforts of the healthcare workers helped the country to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic situation. However, this also exposed the gap in the healthcare system and also highlighted the need for major and modernised infrastructure.

Metropolis Healthcare Promoter and MD Ameer Shah highlighted the expectation they are binding from upcoming Union Budget 2021. He said, "The lack of adequate public health infrastructure in India combined with a high Out-of-pocket expenditure imposes a high financial burden on Indian households and therefore increasing the healthcare budget allocation in the coming decade is of the utmost importance". He further added that there is a need to strengthen the foundation of healthcare services through PPP model (private-public partnership).

Anand K, CEO of SRL Diagnostics also shared his views regarding the upcoming budget. He said that the healthcare sector has been part of the country's development plan through various initiatives such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, National Digital Health Mission, Ayushman Bharat and Mission COVID Suraksha, hence the budget should include a significant allocation for the health sector.

Meanwhile, news agency Reuters quoted that in the upcoming Union Budget, India might double the expenditure on the healthcare sector. Keeping in mind the spending on health, the government may increase the expenditure to 4 per cent of GDP in four years.

Posted By: Niharika Sanjeeiv