By Dr. C.J. Vetrievel – Founder Chairman & Managing Director, Be Well Hospitals, Chennai
The excellent leadership and dedication shown by the Central Government while handling the pandemic is commendable and must take inspiration from the same. With the country battling the third wave of Covid-19, there is a huge gap in the healthcare system that needs to be addressed by various healthcare service providers to form a network. An effective public-private partnership (PPP) model should be proposed to ensure cost efficient operations are conducted. Additionally, the capital expenditure incurred on eligible healthcare projects in semi-urban and rural areas should be reduced for ventures with minimum 50 beds. This will help in reaching rural, semi-urban, peri-urban and suburban regions of the state by having a distributed healthcare delivery model rather than crowding in cities whilst providing quality healthcare services in the above said regions. Considering the shortage of medical manpower in the country, a weighted deduction of expenses incurred on skill development in the healthcare sector must be offered.
Input credit on various services availed is currently very high resulting in high cost of treatment which is borne by the patient. GST on rental property is not eligible for input credit making it a cost for the hospital. Alternatively, hospitals should also be given the ability to claim the refund of input credits, similar to the benefits availed by Export Oriented Units and Special Economic Zones. This will help in reducing the cost of rendering services to patients.
Healthcare sector needs to be considered as a priority and an essential service. Loans for working capital should also be provided to new borrowers under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). These are some considerations that we are requesting from the Government in the upcoming Union Budget 2022.