Experts call for additional tax rebates to healthcare investors
HYDERABAD: In the wake of the national crisis that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused, healthcare professionals have urged Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to encourage private investment in the healthcare sector by offering tax incentives in her forthcoming Union Budget.
Though the government has indicated that it would increase healthcare spend to three per cent of the economy, Dr Riyaz M Khan, CEO, Continental Hospitals, feels a major portion of it should be spent on primary healthcare.
“A major portion of this allocation must be spent on strengthening primary healthcare and improve the quality of healthcare delivery mechanisms. Covid-19 must work as an eye-opener to increase budget allocations for health sector,” he said.
Other hospital-administrators, however, believe that infrastructure will remain inadequate unless the private sector chips in.
“One major lesson learnt from the pandemic is the need to establish epidemiology units in all districts, and this is possible only when more investment comes into the sector. So the government must consider additional tax incentives for individuals and groups keen on investing in the health sector,” said Dr Rahul Medakkar, chief operating officer of Care Hospitals, Banjara Hills.
Apart from investment on physical healthcare infrastructure, Dr Mervin Leo, cluster COO, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, believes money needs to be spent on skill development and training the workforce to ensure better delivery of services.