This article originally appeared on Livemint.
With expectations running high about the Narendra Modi government’s first full-year budget, the stage is set for the centre to signal its seriousness about transforming India’s underperforming healthcare system and committing investments for a long-term payoff for all Indians.
By ramping up investments in healthcare, the government will have the perfect opportunity to start a virtuous cycle of health. It will improve productivity, enable greater consumption and boost economic growth, as well as help the Make in India campaign become a reality. Healthcare reform can protect Indians from out-of-pocket expenditure burden, create 15 million additional health services jobs by 2025 and allow the country to emerge as a global hub for innovative, low-cost health products and services.
As we have seen, a business-as-usual approach to health won’t work and can hurt India’s future growth, development and competitiveness. According to one estimate, the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) alone will cost India $6.2 trillion by 2030.