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Medical start-up seeks health sector incentives in 2019 budget

Ahead of the budget session, healthcare startup LetsMD on Friday called for incentives to set up hospitals in small towns and also demanded measures to boost insurance penetration.

Founder and CEO of LetsMD, Nivesh Khandelwal said the cost of healthcare services is rising and insurance penetration is also negligible in the sector.

The government should provide “incentives for establishing hospitals in small towns” in this year’s budget, it said in a statement.

Easy loans should be available to create viable health infrastructure in small towns. Additionally, priority sector status should be given to the health sector,” he added.

He said there will be a gap between supply and demand in health care financing and the need at the moment is to rationalize the tariffs of Ayushman Bharat and other government insurance schemes so that ‘they become viable for top hospitals.

“The focus should be on ensuring the availability of last mile funding in tertiary care settings,” he added.

Khandelwal also asked the government to consider a credit guarantee as payments take time to come to the hospital under government insurance schemes.

“The government should also set up a medical innovation fund separately to boost health tech startups,” he said.