New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The healthcare and diagnostics sector is hoping for some big allocations in the upcoming union budget scheduled to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2022. Health has become of prime importance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the pandemic exposed several gaps in the existing health care infrastructure. However, the government has since then, introduced various reforms to address the issues. Under the current situation of the third wave of Coronavirus, this year too, the health sector is expecting strong investment in healthcare to be able to better severe people.

Speaking to Jagran English about the same, and what the health sector expects from Budget 2022, Karan Talreja, Founder of Reset Tech said that the government has started multiple initiatives in the last two years to cater to the requirements of healthcare infrastructure in the country.

"Since the third wave has already forged in and has made everyone realize the importance of a robust healthcare ecosystem, we probably need focused investment and more awareness around lifestyle diseases for the betterment of the people. Therefore, it is expected from the government to invest for the evolution of resources that enable the monitoring of the lifestyle-related diseases of populations," he said.

Talreja also mentioned that there is a demand for a separate budget allocation for Indian startups that ventured into deep technologies for the augmentation of holistic solutions to lifestyle diseases.

"The industry expects that the process of research and development continues extensively, which demands proper financial support that needs to be fulfilled by the government. The industry has received great support from the government as well to support the startup ecosystem. Hence as the way forward, we are expecting more support and encouragement to match the global industry standard and cater to the common people as per their needs and requirements," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr HR Nagendra, President of (VYASA) and Chancellor of (S-VYASA) said, "During the last year's budget, it was recognized by the government that the AYUSH sector has a great potential to serve a huge number of healthcare needs of people and contribute to the growth and development of this country. Rightly the Hon'ble PM has inducted a Cabinet minister rank and MOS to the ministry of AYUSH. It is now important and expected to promote new drug discoveries in systems of AYUSH extensively".

"Also to promote cost-effective and evidence-based yoga Therapy, Naturopathy and other Non-Pharmacological interventions. For this purpose, we hope the government will allow substantially more funding in the new budget for research to expedite and facilitate high-end research. As the government is already spending and investing a lot in the health sector, it is necessary to allow substantially more funds for the AYUSH Sector".

"Also, we are suggesting the Government to allot dedicated funds for top Institutions, research scholars and young doctors for supporting and encouraging them to work hard and discover more vaccines, Pharma drugs and effective non-pharma formulations in AYUSH. This will help boost the Government's Atma Nirbhar Bharat Mission", he added.

Meanwhile, in Union Budget 2021-22, the total public health sector allocation stood at 1.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). A FICCI and KPMG report released late last year titled 'COVID-19 Induced Healthcare Transformation in India', stated that the country needs to raise public health spending to 2.5 - 3.5 percent of GDP to support healthcare transformation.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha