JSA Viewpoint Healthcare – Budget, 2021

For FY 21 GoI had budgeted Rs. 69,000 crore for healthcare, which was 1.6% of GDP. The budgeted amount for FY 22 shows a significant increase. If this growth were to be extrapolated, the GoI should achieve the target of healthcare spend of 2.5 – 3% of GDP (as envisaged in the National Health Policy 2017) well before its target date. This is quite promising and clearly illustrates the importance that the GoI is placing on the sector spurred by the Covid pandemic. What is also very commendable is that the GoI has allocated Rs. 35,000 crore for the Covid vaccine as a separate line item. This shows that the GoI has avoided the pitfall of focussing all its resources on tackling communicable diseases at the cost of building healthcare systems generally because of the Covid pandemic, which notwithstanding its materially adverse impact on the health and economy, is an extraordinary event. The GoI has thus avoided the saliency bias which the Economic Survey had warned against.

Quote by Rohitashwa Prasad published in IIFL Securities, Pharmabiz and Global News Network of India.