Ahead of Budget session, Healthcare startup LetsMD on Friday sought incentives for setting up hospitals in smaller towns and cities, and also demanded measures to boost insurance penetration.
LetsMD Founder and CEO Nivesh Khandelwal said the cost of healthcare services is increasing and insurance penetration is also negligible in the sector.
The government should provide "incentives for setting up hospitals in smaller towns and cities" in this year's budget, he said in a statement.
"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," he added.
He said there will be a demand-supply gap in healthcare financing and the need of the time is to rationalise rates of Ayushman Bharat and other government insurance schemes so they become viable for top hospitals.
"The focus has to be on ensuring the last mile availability of financing at tertiary care facilities," he added.
Khandelwal also requested the government to consider credit guarantee, since payments take time to come to hospital under government insurance schemes.
"Government should also come up with medical innovation fund separately to boost health tech startups," he said.