Saurabh Gupta, Principal Consultant, Healthcare Advisory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers India
Q: What should be the top priorities for next government as far as healthcare is concerned?
The next government needs to foster a more investment friendly environment to build business confidence as many critical issues and archaic policies continue to bother current life sciences industry. Bills which have been passed by Lok Sabha must get clearances in Rajya Sabha at the earliest.
Healthcare spending is another area that requires immediate attention. For a country of over 1.2 billion people, India's healthcare spending by percentage of the GDP is abysmal. Increasing GDP spend to at least 2.5 percent from the current 1.4 percent will mean better healthcare delivery systems, as it will directly increase per capita healthcare spend, which is one of the lowest among developing economies.
India needs more doctors, especially super specialists and some changes are desired in the training and education of future medical professionals, including an increase in the number of post graduate medical seats throughout India. Indian medical equipment makers hold a lot of promise and we should promote the use of indigenous equipments by giving them tax benefits. Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill needs to be passed as India is a signatory to UN convention on biodiversity and Cartagena Protocol on bio safety which calls for a regulatory authority setup.
Finally, employers and in turn employees should be incentivised to remain healthy instead of reimbursing for acute care; India should strengthen the mandate for preventive health packages.
Q: What are your expectations from the next government for healthcare industry?