NATHEALTH recommends the government to withdraw service tax on Health Insurance Premium
In line with the goal of achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage, NATHEALTH (Healthcare Federation of India), India's apex Healthcare body, presents pre-budget recommendations to the Govt. to exempt the healthcare services from goods and services Tax or GST.
Mr Anjan Bose, secretary general, NATHEALTH said, "GST once implemented, would put various sectors under the purview of service tax. Healthcare is currently exempted from service tax and this should continue after the GST regime at least for a period of ten years and only thereafter should a decision to levy service tax be considered, after assessing the status of healthcare coverage, costs and performance on key healthcare metrics. Levying service tax on healthcare services and facilities will be a retrograde step which will push back the agenda to provide universal healthcare. The current stage of development of the healthcare industry cannot afford levy of service tax."
He added, "Given the long payback period, extension of the tax holiday to ten years instead of five will improve the business case for investment. The lack of skilled healthcare resources in non-metros and tier 2, 3, 4 cities makes the payback period even longer."
With the huge impact of NCD'S (Non-communicable diseases) on the Indian population it is absolutely imperative to increase the focus on prevention and preventive healthcare. WHO statistics clearly states that more than 52 lakh lives are lost annually in India alone.
The death rate in urban India is expected to rise by 42 percent by 2021 out of which NCD alone will account for around 62 percent DALY (disability adjusted life year) losses. One person dies of a stroke every minute in India. Every 6th patient below 40 years is a victim of cancer and CVD. The Economic burden of NCDS in India will be 6.2 trillion USD from the period of 2016-2030.