Thought Leadership

Today, cancer care has evolved by leaps and bounds but we have not gotten rid of the negative cancer terminology like palliative care, terminal disease, or Stage IV. Why can't we treat cancer like any other chronic disease? A diabetes patient is never told he is a victim of diabetes, or he is being given palliative care.
Dr. B. S. Ajaikumar

Budget 2024: Expert urges govt to adopt universal healthcare model which may transform the sector through unlimited pay-outs

  • Date: 2024-01-31 02:25:48
  • Author: Dr. BS Ajaikumar
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Budget 2024: Expert urges govt to adopt universal healthcare model which may transform the sector through unlimited pay-outs

Ahead of the Union Budget 2024, various anticipations and expectations are being made around the upliftment in all the sectors. Amid all the anticipations, the healthcare sector has all eyes on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who is going to unveil the annual accounts in Parliament on February 1. Since the healthcare sector is a major component of the country’s overall well-being. As per reports, the estimated spend of the Department of Health and Family Welfare in 2023-24 is Rs 86,175 crore which is approximately 2 per cent of total central government expenditure for 2023-24. This was an increase of 13 per cent over the revised data for 2022-2023.

Dr B S Ajaikumar, Executive Chairman, HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd told News9, “Every year, we request the government to make healthcare a priority, duly manifested in a significantly higher percentage of GDP allocation, but our aspiration yet seems like a distant dream, hopefully, this budget will give us a pleasant surprise. While government schemes like Ayushman Bharat are commendable, the subsidised treatments have sadly compromised the quality front.”

An effective universal healthcare model needed

“There is a significant cost to this low cost which defeats the very purpose of healthcare, which is about ensuring sustainable outcomes for one and all, whether poor patients or affluent patients. We urge the finance minister to adopt an effective universal healthcare model which can transform this sector, through unlimited pay-outs and incorporation of the latest developments and advancements of targeted therapies for the benefit of all patients at large, irrespective of their social and financial status. Today, we have brought cancer to the level of a chronic disease. If the right treatment is provided to patients the first time, we can ensure lasting outcomes in terms of treatment precision effectiveness and quality of life for patients,” said Dr Ajaikumar.

“We hope the union government initiates a study of the latest advancements by assembling a team of experts and jointly draws a plan for developing feasible solutions to eliminate the rich-poor divide plaguing the sector. The ideal solution would be a universal care model but if that is not immediately feasible, at least significant funds should be allotted to strengthen the insurance cover for healthcare.”