Healthcare players call Budget forward-looking

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Hyderabad, Feb 1 (IANS) Healthcare players have welcomed the Union Budget as positive and forward-looking.

Dr K. Hari Prasad, President, Apollo Group said that there was increasing focus on healthcare as evident from the Union Budget.

As part of healthcare skill development, the Finance Minister proposed 157 new nursing colleges and novel skill development courses for medical equipment and device manufacturing and innovation.

According to him, promoting research and innovation in healthcare by opening up ICMR labs for collaborative research with medical colleges and the private sector was another critical element of the Union Budget.

Artificial Intelligence in healthcare gets a major thrust and this would be of immense help in improving healthcare and also create opportunities for research and innovation across the healthcare spectrum, he said.

He feels that 5G labs to develop healthcare applications will enhance healthcare connectivity and access to higher quality of care to people living in distant geographies. Replacing old ambulances with new ones will improve pre-hospital emergency care aiding in saving lives during the ‘golden hour’

“The government healthcare expenditure has doubled over the last eight years and is going up further. With wellness and primary care being the areas most of focus it will have a positive impact on basic healthcare indices like maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate,” he said.

Dr. Bollineni Bhaskar Rao, MD, KIMSAHospitals said it was heartening to note that the Union Budget 2023-24 continued to lay emphasis on research in the fields associated with healthcare. He commended Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for paving way to dedicated multidisciplinary courses to ensure availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing and research.

“I am sure many leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications and scalable solutions in areas like healthcare and sustainability,” he said.

Krishna Prasad Vunnam, Founder and MD, Ankura Hospital for women and Children welcomed the government’s intent to invest in setting up centres of excellence to promote research and development in pharma and termed it an excellent move to help India move up the value chain in the life sciences sector, the

“157 new nursing colleges, sickle cell anemia reduction program, pharma research, and PPP for medical research is much needed. Facilities in select ICMR labs to be made available for research is a good move,” he said.

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