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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Misery rolled back....but is it enough?

News source:

Govt. rolls back five per cent healthcare tax

The Government on Tuesday rolled back the five per cent tax
healthcare, which many called the misery tax as it made treatment more
expensive.

The proposal which was put forth during the Budget invoked Opposition
from the medical fraternity.

Medical fraternity had told the minister that the health tax was a
misery tax for the common man and had explained him the consequences
of the tax.

My notes: I think Mr finance minister could have avoided unnecessary
negative publicity. This was bound to happen and some people should
not feel happy taking credit for ensuring the roll back. This tax
anyway did not generate a huge cashflow. What the fraternity should
fight for is to have all taxes removed from all goods related to
healthcare to make health care cheaper or more profitable to attract
more investments in healthcare. Investor find other industries more
attractive as the ROI is much faster and better there. Government
should understand one thing that this country needs more and more
quality infrastructure, staff and clinicians to deliver good need
based healthcare. The patient bed, patient doctor and nurse ratios are
among the poorest in the world. Government cannot invest further on
its own in providing healthcare and should partner with the private
sector. Unconditional subsidies, zero taxes (probably 150percent tax
rebates like pharma research), industry status, and creating more and
more educational and vocational institutions for creating skill sets
etc will make the industry more attractive for investment and will
ultimately counter the healthcare delivery needs of the country faster
and better and cheaper.
Dr Akash S Rajpal

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Sincerely,
Dr Akash Rajpal

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