India's budget 2016: Healthcare cannot wait

 26-Feb-16, Firstpost

The Indian Health care industry is growing at a rapid pace (CAGR of 17%) and is expected to become a US $280 billion industry by 2020. Even so, nearly one million Indians die every year due to inadequate healthcare facilities and close to 700 million people have no access to specialist care.

Indias budget 2016 Healthcare cannot wait (c) Reuters

Image: Reuters

There are wide gaps between the rural and urban population in its health care system. A staggering 70% of the population still lives in rural areas and has no or limited access to hospitals and clinics. Around 80% of specialists live in urban areas.

Besides the lack of overall healthcare infrastructure, the second most important influence on India’s healthcare industry is its lack of a medically insured population and high out-of-pocket expenditure.

The NDA Government did plan to bring about a 'complete transformation' of the health sector and even worked on the blueprint of the world's largest universal health insurance programme. The Government now needs to act on its plans. The Union Budget 2016 must allocate more money to the healthcare sector. The sector is in dire need of funds to improve their infrastructure and skill sets and to increase capacity.

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