Mr Rohit Mehta, Founder & Managing Director, ICPA Health Products Ltd. (ICPA), Spoke About Union Interim Budget 2024-2025
Mumbai, Feb 04, 2024: The interim budget was indicative of the Government’s commitment to addressing critical issues in our healthcare landscape. With nearly two-thirds of India’s population residing in rural areas, we expected the Hon’ble FM to address the concern of access to medical services for this section of society.
The increase in allocation for public healthcare to Rs.90,171 Cr in FY24-25, up from Rs.79,221 Cr in FY23-24, is a positive step toward bridging the healthcare gap between rural and urban areas. The stark disparity in doctor-to-population ratios between rural and urban areas leaves the rural population significantly disadvantaged in healthcare access. Unfortunately, due to this, rural residents fail to receive medical facilities to the same extent as their urban counterparts.
Thus, the Government’s initiative to set up more medical colleges and improve healthcare infrastructure is a welcome step. However, the absence of specialists like heart surgeons and neurosurgeons in most rural areas severely limits access to required medical care, and this concern should also be addressed.
These measures will not only enhance healthcare accessibility in rural areas but also strengthen the overall healthcare ecosystem in our country. While these are positive steps, it is essential to ensure effective implementation and sustained efforts to transform these announcements into tangible improvements on the ground. We look forward to witnessing the positive impact of the budgetary allocations on the health and well-being of our fellow citizens.
ICPA Health Products Ltd. is the leading Indian manufacturer in the oral healthcare segment with well-known, trusted products like Thermoseal and Hexidine. Headquartered in Mumbai, the 50-year-old company has an international presence in South-East Asia, Middle-East, UK, Australia and French West Africa. In addition to dental products, ICPA also specializes in herbal and cosmetic products, all of which are manufactured at its state-of-the-art, facility certified by the EU, WHO GMP, and ISO in Gujarat. ICPA enjoys the franchise of around 70 per cent of India’s dental surgeons along with a significant number of ENTs and cancer specialists in the subcontinent.
According to Prof Dr Raj Nagarkar, Managing Director, Chief of Surgical Oncology & Robotic services, HCG Manavata Cancer Centre & Hospitals, “The Government’s decision in the interim budget to ensure that all girls aged 9 to 14 receive vaccination against the Human papillomavirus (HPV), thereby reducing the risk of cervical cancer, is a commendable step.
The initiative is crucial in India, which currently holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest number of cervical cancer patients worldwide. Creating awareness, educating the masses, and ensuring that our daughters in the aforesaid age group receive the three doses of the vaccine for cervical cancer prevention are imperative.
Furthermore, the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s announcement about the Government’s intention to establish more medical colleges using existing healthcare infrastructure is noteworthy. As a doctor and professor with over two decades of experience, my earnest plea to the Government is this – buildings alone do not make homes. Similarly, the creation of medical college infrastructure does not guarantee the production of competent graduates.
India urgently requires not just more medical colleges but a focus on quality medical education. The critical shortage of qualified teachers in medical colleges needs immediate attention. Quality should take precedence over quantity in our pursuit of excellence in medical education.