Thu. May 6th, 2021

The government needs to take very clear, decisive and concrete steps to ensure regulatory clarity: Prashant Tandon, CEO & Co-Founder, 1mgShahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Prashant Tandon, Chair, Digital Health Platforms; CEO & Co-Founder, 1mg, to know more about his expectations from the healthcare budget by way of primary care and digital health.

Expectations from the Union Budget 2021
This is a very important budget coming up for India, coming out of the pandemic we saw a phase where the private healthcare sector of India stood up and delivered when it counted most. But now the time has come for us to actually take note and strengthen this sector. The core of the country needs to be strong and healthy. We have a very specific list of expectations. I think four things come to mind.

1. The Role of Digital Healthcare as a part of the key health delivery architecture of this country – Digital Healthcare platforms, its high time be recognised as healthcare establishments and be accessible to the same incentive schemes and same tax structures as per healthcare establishments. I think it’s very important to take the sector forward.2. Investment in this sector – It needs entrepreneurs, innovators and financial investors to actually participate actively and the government must create an enabling road map for that. The primary issue is that regulatory clarity and that’s where I think the government needs to take very clear, decisive and concrete steps to move with the world. Specifically, e-pharmacy regulation, telemedicine regulation, e-diagnostic, data analytics all these need further clarity and the government can play a big role there.

3. Primary Care – I think that’s one part that is talked often but a lot really needs to be done if we are to be a health country. First, I would say the government must leverage telemedicine and under NDHM launch a super application for telemedicine for the country where any citizen of the country at any point in time wherever he or she is can access a doctor. The government must take the lead there. Secondly, it must be covered under Ayushmann Bharat. That’s the key requirement.

4. Lastly, the government is a huge spender on healthcare but not a market accessible to startups and healthcare and I think that needs to change. So, if the budget can help with all of these that would be a great budget for healthcare for India.

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