The government has given the nation a budget that it ‘needs’, not necessarily one that some sections may ‘want’. This Need vs Want distinction is significant since this is a time for getting important things right for the community as a whole, and not pander to individual demands and flights of fancy. That makes Budget 2021 a courageous step that prioritizes burning issues in the wake of the COVID-19 disruption, and focuses on strengthening the fundamental pillars to get India’s growth story back on track.
The response from the healthcare community has been encouraging so far, and most have welcomed the increased allocation which aims at healing the sector holistically and from the ground-up. We approached Dilip Jose (MD & CEO- Manipal Hospitals) about his reaction to Budget 2021 in the context of his industry. Mr. Jose is a healthcare veteran with over 30 years of multi-sectoral leadership experience across domains such as operations, growth and strategy, and is no stranger to rebooting growth at scale with particular emphasis on decoding complexity and accelerating value creation.
The perceptive leader’s views echo the sentiment that great new beginnings could well be round the corner.
“The Finance Minister has accorded special attention to the Healthcare Sector, increasing the overall outlay to health and wellbeing to nearly Rs.2.25 lakh crore, an increase of over 135% over last year. The enhanced allocation, along with the plan to look at healthcare wholistically – including nutrition, sanitation, clean drinking water and pollution control, certainly augurs well for the country. The allocation of Rs.35,000 Crores towards Covid vaccination also is a very welcome step.
Significant focus also has been brought to scaling up infrastructure, like critical care capabilities as well as primary and secondary care facilities through the PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat programme. It is also very heartening that the FM promised higher allocations as required, as institutions absorb the funds committed at the first instance. All in all, a great beginning has been made in the journey to take our healthcare system to the world class standards.
Further, the augmented government spend planned for capital expenditure by over 35% would aid job creation and growth in incomes, which would, in turn, enable people to spend on healthcare when required.”
Mr. Dilip Jose, MD & CEO, Manipal Hospitals
*This story is published by VOH Team*
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