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Very little mention of health care sector in Budget 2022-2023, says Dr Naresh Trehan

Gurugram (Haryana) : There is very little mention of the health care sector in the Budget 2022-2023, said Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta hospital and Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Council on Healthcare. "If you look at the budget, there is a very little mention of health care in the budget, it occupies very little attention. Skilling is getting intensified which is good because we need a lot of skilled manpower to assist with the healthcare delivery system. The second thing is the National Health Registry, which also provides a full platform for everybody to be able to network and to know what is the state of our infrastructure is, what is the ability of the health care, that will help a lot," Trehan said. "The third issue addressed was the mental health problem. It is true that in the pandemic, a lot of people have suffered at that, then a mechanism for mental health will definitely help," he added. "But beyond that, none of the other issues were addressed in this budget. Finance Minister mentioned that we have a robust health system since we survived the pandemic. It has become strong and all that is true, but the question is that is it future-ready?" he added. "What is required? a robust infrastructure is required. It needs to be advanced and it needs to be renewed. We need high care tertiary hospitals to deal with pandemics like these. At some level, the smaller hospitals can handle the caseload. But you saw what happened in the second wave. The point is that we need to be able to advance the metro hospitals. We need financing at the national level. We need to expand new technologies and research," he stated. Earlier on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the budget 2022-2023 announced the rollout of an open platform for the national health ecosystem. It will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, consent framework and universal access to health facilities, she had stated. The Finance Minister also said the pandemic has accentuated mental health problems of people of all ages, she stated. "To better access to quality mental health counselling and care services. A national telly mental health programme will be launched which will include a network of 23 telly mental health centres of excellence with the National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) being the nodal centre," she had said. The Union Cabinet approved the Budget 2022-23 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament. Meanwhile, Public health expert, Dr. Sameer Bhati while commenting on the Union Budget said, "According to me, this budget is like a plane mirror, anyone can interpret it in his/her words. We expect a little more from this budget but when our expectations are not addressed, we tend to get a little depressed. But from the employment, business and health point of view, this budget is highly ambitious and aspirational."

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