New AIIMS, hike in health policy premiums welcome

Sanjay Murdeshwar, managing director, AstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd: Overall, it's a positive and balanced Budget. Even though there is no direct impetus to the pharmaceutical industry, plans for the healthcare sector are welcome.

Setting up of five new AIIMS across the country will help patients and medical education. Three more National Institute of Pharmaceuticals Education and Research will play an important role in bridging the skill gap, the National Skills Mission is an excellent endeavor in this area.

Improving accessibility to healthcare has been stimulated through raise in health insurance premium from Rs15,000 to Rs25,000. The Rs150 crore announced for scientific research is a positive move, though incentivizing medical / pharma research would have helped trigger more R&D investments into the sector.

This is a positive start with more hits and not many misses, it remains to be seen how effectively it will be implemented.