Healthcare Policy Needs to be Revisited in Budget 2021-22

I hope this budget would be a stepping stone in transforming the Indian economy as whole in general and the public sector healthcare system in particular. Extraordinary times like this require extraordinary policy responses from the government on every issue. Considering the bitter experiences that India had to have with the private sector healthcare service providers which single handily focused only on the profits even during the COVID19 pandemic than managing, responding and containing it efficiently.

This pandemic has opened the silts in the healthcare system wide enough to reconsider the healthcare policies that India had been vouching and depending on. In future the possibilities of the occurrences of the pandemics like COVID19 regularly on some intervals may increase as the numbers of epidemics have increased in last 18 years which includes 3 episodes of global epidemics (SARS, Swine Flu and Ebola) and 1 episode of pandemic (COVID19). India’s increasing dependence on the private sector through schemes like Ayushman Bharat needs to be revisited and should be seen as temporary arrangement till India increases its healthcare capacity so that India well equipped to respond to healthcare crises like COVID19 in future and this budget is the best opportunity to move in that direction.

Rajeev Upadhyay

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