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Industry body PHDCCI on December 29 said the health budget should be increased by 30-40 percent as there is a growing need for health facilities and infrastructure across the country.

Making the suggestion for the forthcoming Union Budget, Saket Dalmia, President of PHDCCI, said the budget for health has seen a rise of about 16 per cent in absolute terms between budget estimates of 2021-22 and 2022-23.

The major focus could be on a widespread campaign for healthy living, which is the need of the hour to build up a healthy human resource for the country.

"The importance of healthy living should necessarily be included in the school curriculum. Awareness programmes on diabetes and other lifestyle diseases should be organised by the local bodies, chambers and associations," he said.

On his expectations from the next budget, Ajay Poddar, Chairman and Managing Director of Syenergy Environics said rapid and accurate diagnosis is the most relevant demand and will enable a rapid return to wellness for the patient besides helping control the spread of infections towards effective health management.

"We need multi-disease diagnostics platforms, and affordable diagnostics and wellness promotion in the country," he noted.

Poddar also said that the government should come out with a mechanism and policy framework to allow health insurance to cover wellness tests and Ayush treatments also. Encouragement and funding of research could bring down healthcare costs to 1,000 per person per annum.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the Union Budget 2023-24 on February 1.

The ministry held several rounds of discussions with different stakeholders in various sectors to seek suggestions for the budget.

Siddhartha Ghosh, Director, Hyderabad Campus, NMIMS, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, said the per capita insurance expenditure on healthcare in India is the lowest in the world.

More than 75 per cent of Indians have no health insurance, and the new budget should have provision to handle this," Ghosh added.

PHDCCI also said the government must also establish primary clinics at the Panchayat level and ensure their proper and regular functioning.

They should be digitally equipped for facilitating telemedicine and the data collected at the Panchayat level must also be digitised for further use for treatment at different places, Dalmia said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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