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Ms. Deepshikha Sharma

Union Budget 2024-25: A Call for Strategic Investments in Healthcare

As India anticipates the Union Budget 2024-25, the healthcare sector stands at a critical juncture, demanding strategic investments to meet its growing needs. Ms. Deepshikha Sharma, CEO of Sharp Sight Eye Hospital, emphasises three pivotal areas: infrastructure enhancement, digital integration, and comprehensive mental health support.

"Expanding healthcare infrastructure is paramount," Sharma asserts. "Our goal should be to ensure that every citizen has access to quality healthcare, irrespective of their geographic location." This involves constructing more hospitals and health centers in rural and suburban areas to bridge the urban-rural healthcare divide. Such expansion goes beyond buildings; it requires equipping these facilities with necessary tools and staffing them with trained healthcare professionals. This move will make healthcare more accessible and affordable, easing the strain on existing urban centers and significantly improving millions of lives.

Digital health technology also deserves attention in this budget. Sharma highlights the potential of telemedicine and digital health records to enhance care quality and reach. "Investing in digital tools can transform patient care, making health management more efficient and effective," she explains. Digital integration allows doctors to access complete medical histories swiftly, improves diagnostic accuracy, and facilitates remote care, which is invaluable in areas where medical expertise is scarce.

Moreover, Sharma underscores the importance of mental health. "The recent global health crises have highlighted the need for robust mental health support systems," she notes. Funding should be allocated not only for treatment facilities but also for preventive care, including awareness campaigns and community outreach programs. This approach would help destigmatize mental health issues and make necessary services more accessible to the broader population.

"The Union Budget 2024-25 presents a unique opportunity to lay a foundation for a future-ready healthcare system," Sharma concludes. Investments in healthcare infrastructure, digital health, and mental health services are not just fiscal allocations but investments in the well-being and productivity of the nation’s populace. These measures will ensure a healthier, more resilient India, ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.

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