• Budget 2017: Major announcements for healthcare: Focus on medical devices, cheaper drugs, and affordable healthcare


    New Delhi: Transform, Energise, Clean India- These were the three major agendas put forward by the Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley today while presenting the 2017 Budget. With more detailed analysis soon to follow, here are the announcements made by the FM that concern the healthcare sector.


    “Poverty is usually associated with poor health . It is the poor who suffer the maximum from various chronic diseases.“

    Keeping the above framework in mind, the minister was then seen highlighting targets of elimination for many diseases over the coming few years


    • Elimination of Kala Azar and Filariasis – 2017
    • Elimination of Leprosy – 2017
    • Elimination of Measels -2020
    • Elimination of TB by 2025  has also been targeted


    Besides this major targets for reduction of IMR and MMR were highlighted as

    • IMR from 39/1000 in 2014 to 28/1000 in 2019
    • MMR- 167 in 2011-13 to 100 in 2018-20

    1.5 lakh health sub centres will be transformed into health wellness centres.
    Manpower Requirement

    It is a known fact that the Indian healthcare chronically suffers from the shortage of manpower. Moreover, the said shortage becomes glaringly visible when it comes to specialist and super-specialist professionals. To ensure adequate availability of specialist doctors to strength the secondary and tertiary level  health care, the minister was seen announcing to take to steps to create ad additional 5000 PG seats per annum. Steps will be taken to

    1. Start DNB courses in big district hospitals
    2. Strengthen PG training in select ESIC and Municipal Corporation hospitals and
    3. Encourage reputed private hospitals to take up DNB courses


    The minister announced that the central government would work with the state government to take this task forward.


    Regulatory Framework

    The Budget 2017 was seen highlighting the government’s commitment to bring into place reforms in the medical education sector as was earlier highlighted by the Niti Ayog appointed committee.


    (The government is also committed to take the necessary steps for structural transformation of the regulatory framework of the medical education and practice in India)

    Needless to say, this alludes to the impending National Medical Commission Bill which is soon to be introduced in the parliament.


    Two new AIIMS have been proposed in this years budget. These are going to come up in the states of  Jharkhand and Gujrat.

    Drugs and medical devices to be available at reasonable prices


    The FM was seen highlighting the government’s endeavor to ensure the availability of medicines and major medical devices to the patients at reasonable prices. For the same, the budget has high lighted two major developments .


    It has been proposed to amend the Drug and Cosmetic rules to ensure the availability of drugs at reasonable prices to ensure the use of generic medicines.


    This is indeed in line with the earlier announcement of the government as well as the Medical Council of India  asking medical practitioners to prescribe Generic medicines

    New rules regarding medical devices will be formulated. These rules would be international harmonized and attract investment to this sector. This will reduce the cost of such devices.

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