Delhi-NCR based healthcare fintech start-up, LetsMD, has set the demand before the ensuing Union Budget 2019-20 on behalf of the heath care industry today. Nivesh Khandelwal, Founder and CEO LetsMD said, “India’s healthcare inflation is about 15-17%, so, every year the cost escalates by 15-17%. Second, Insurance penetration in India is negligible. 80% of India’s healthcare expenditure is out of pocket. And, 50% of that out of pocket expenditure today, is financed through loans. So a lot of work has to go to on the preventive healthcare side, to make healthcare affordable in the long run in India.”
Speaking on the budget expectations, Khandelwal, said, “Health sector demands incentives for setting up hospitals in smaller towns and cities and that is the primary demand, the industry is looking up to in this year’s budget. There should be easy loans available for creating viable healthcare infrastructure in smaller towns and cities. Also, the priority sector status must be accorded to the healthcare industry.”
Further, Khandelwal, appreciated the Ayushman Bharat drive of the government and said, “There will be a demand-supply gap in healthcare financing, the need of the time is to rationalize rates of Ayushman Bharat and other government insurance schemes so they become viable for top tier hospitals.” The focus has to be on ensuring the last mile availability of financing at tertiary care facilities. LetsMD aspires to create a viable option for financing the healthcare needs for people of all strata, he added.
He also demanded, “There is dire need to incentivize and regulate setting up of medical colleges to ensure quality manpower is created. Without adequate medical colleges, quality doctors and support staff, India’s health care mission will not succeed.
Khandelwal also requested government to consider credit guarantee, since payments take time to come to hospital under govt. insurance schemes, government should incentivize /give credit guarantee to lenders who are willing to fund the receivables.
“Government should also come up with medical innovation fund separately to boost health tech start ups,” he demanded. “We are looking forward to a positive turn out from the Union Budget 2019 for start-ups and emerging entrepreneurs, especially in the health tech domain”, said Khandelwal.