As we stand on the cusp of a new fiscal year, we believe that the forthcoming budget holds immense promise for the healthcare industry, and we eagerly anticipate policies and provisions that will propel us to new heights. The government could explore the possibility of increasing budget allocation to 2.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with the primary objective of expediting healthcare reforms and fortifying infrastructure within the healthcare sector. By devoting a higher portion of the GDP to healthcare, there is potential to address various areas such as improving access to quality healthcare services, upgrading medical facilities, enhancing medical research and development, and ensuring the availability of essential medical supplies and equipment. This increased allocation could serve as a catalyst for transformative changes that would ultimately benefit the overall health and well-being of the population.
For the MedTech sector, the emphasis should be directed towards enhancing R&D infrastructure and rationalising taxes, paving the way for the ambitious goal of achieving $50 billion by 2030. We hope to see increased allocations towards research initiatives, with a specific focus on advancements.
Access to capital is another key factor. We hope to witness financial incentives, support mechanisms, and innovative models that encourage investment in research, development, and manufacturing capabilities. This includes provisions for tax incentives, subsidies, and funding avenues that can empower companies to expand their operations and invest in cutting-edge technologies.
The government should contemplate the rationalisation of GST rates to 12% for all medical devices. Such a move would substantially enhance the competitiveness of the sector while addressing the issue of the inverted duty structure. By streamlining GST rates, the government can create a more conducive environment for the medical device industry, encouraging growth, innovation, and investment. This adjustment not only simplifies taxation but also promotes affordability and accessibility of medical devices, ultimately benefiting healthcare providers and patients alike.
In addition, the MedTech sector places a strong emphasis on skill development. Therefore, we look forward to budgetary allocations aimed at promoting education and training programmes specific to the MedTech industry.
We expect the Union Budget to address the integration of digital health solutions into mainstream healthcare by providing incentives and support for the development and implementation of telemedicine, health information systems, and other digital platforms.
The MedTech sector eagerly awaits the Union Budget with optimism, hoping that it will serve as a catalyst for innovation, growth, and inclusivity. By addressing key challenges and providing strategic support, the budget has the potential to unlock new opportunities, facilitate research and development, enhance manufacturing capabilities, and expand access to cutting-edge healthcare technologies. The MedTech community remains committed to collaborating with the government to realise a shared vision of advancing healthcare delivery and improving patient outcomes across the nation.
Himanshu Baid, Managing Director, Poly Medicure Ltd.
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