Nothing to fuel growth in healthcare, pharma sectors: Dr Reddy’s

Guwahati: People purchase medicines from a medical store, in Guwahati on July 5, 2019. Achieving a healthy society via Ayushman Bharat, well-nourished women and children and safety of citizens is one of the key highlights of the Union Budget 2019 presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha today.

Hyderabad, Pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd on Friday said that the Union Budget 2019-20 has nothing to fuel growth in the healthcare and pharma sectors.

“The expectations from the Union Budget 2019 were that of a bold reformist budget, however, it turned out to be an incremental budget at best,” said Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

“The emphasis on start-ups and on the education sector is a good move. However, there was nothing to fuel growth in the healthcare and pharma sectors, which is disappointing.

“I was particularly keen on seeing a change in the weighted deduction for R&D which did not happen. A positive policy move of this kind would have spurred R&D and innovation in pharma and other sectors,” he added.

Apollo Group of Hospitals feels that the budget has a number of measures which will reduce illness and promote wellness in the community.

Dr. K. Hari Prasad, President, Hospitals Division, Apollo believes that open defecation free India, clean fuel for cooking, emphasis on electric vehicles, clean drinking water, promotion of yoga and ‘Khelo India’ initiative will contribute to the government’s vision of a healthy India in a decade.

Hari Prasad said as a number of healthcare facilities were in rented premises, rationalization of the rental laws will benefit the health sector. “Land costs are significant and impact financials of a healthcare facility. Co-development of healthcare infrastructure in central government and PSU land parcels could stimulate significant growth in healthcare facilities,” he said.

Pointing out that visas for patients travelling to India is a critical concern, he said the opening up of new embassies in different countries will add to medical value travel to India.

“A double digit increase in allotment for health in the budget could have been better but the fact that there is a significant increase in allocation towards Ayushman Bharat will help the country move towards ‘Health for all’,” he added.