Union Budget 2023-24: Skilling focus gets thumbs up from health experts

Healthcare experts have hailed the Union Budget 2023-24’s measures to address the demand-supply gap of skilled paramedical staff. Excerpts from their comments

Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Founder Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group
Caring for the wellbeing of citizens is integral to nation building, India stands tall for putting people first, and this Union Budget, the first in the Amrit Kaal, resonates with this ethos. India’s economic growth is amongst the highest in the world and a defining edge is the youthful demography. Therefore, the impetus on skilling is noteworthy. Also, it is heartening that 157 new nursing colleges will be established as it will contribute to improving the nurse-patient ratio, a step in the right direction towards Universal Health Coverage. It is also a right step towards India building a global workforce, to serve the world.


Dr. Azad Moopen, CMD, Aster DM Healthcare

The Union Budget 2023-24 has excellent focus on skill development and addresses one of the core challenges that healthcare industry is facing today – shortage of nursing staff, through the announcement to start 157 nursing colleges alongside existing medical colleges. According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report published last year, India would require at least 4.2 million more trained nurses by 2024 to take care of its over 1.44 billion expected population. The current ratio of nurses and the population stands at a poor 1.7 nurses per 10,000 persons, which is much lower than the WHO recommendation of 4 nurses for 10,000 persons.


Pranav Bajaj, Co-Founder, Medulance Healthcare

While the lack of trained paramedical staff plague the healthcare delivery system, the budget has paved the way for the creation of additional paramedical institutions in the public sector. At one stroke, as many as 157 new nursing colleges will be established in the existing 157 medical colleges. As a multiplier effect, this can bolster private investment in paramedical education and many more players will get into the fray. Medulance too is coming up with the paramedical institution.

Even as tech adoption in the healthcare field is rapidly growing, the curriculum by and large remains obsolete when it comes to imparting skills on new medical technology. In this context, the announcement that dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices will be rolled out has come as a shot in the arm for the institutions. This initiative will create a tech savvy talent pool who will be able to operate new age medical devices. What comes as a boon is the announcement of the setting up of centres of excellence (CoEs) for Artificial Intelligence at top educational institutions to develop cutting-edge AI solutions. Undoubtedly, the CoEs will facilitate the creation of many tech-enabled health solutions.

The budget’s emphasis on promoting research in pharma and medical equipment is laudable. There is a launch of a new programme to promote research in pharmaceuticals. It will be an amazing opportunity for research scholars and faculty in the private institutions as, going by the budget announcements, they will have access to the labs of Indian Council of Medical Research for their research.


Gaurav Tyagi, founder, Career Xpert

The Finance Minister in her presentation stated that 157 new nursing colleges would be set up across 4 major locations in India. This will open up new opportunities for students across the country. The government has also proposed a plan to increase health expenditure by 2.5 per cent of the total gross GDP. Moreover, emphasis will be laid to develop research facilities across various ICMR labs throughout the country. Various new projects have been devised to promote pharmaceutical research. The new budget has also focussed on various multi-dispensary courses which would enable better medical facilities across the rural areas.

Compared to the previous year this year’s budget is overall student-centric as it will provide maximum benefit to thousands of medical aspirants across the nation. Moreover, the budget will also benefit the teachers and mentors as more and more emphasis will be given to providing quality training sessions to them.


Anand Dewan, Group CEO, BYLD Group

This year’s budget has indeed been a positive one bringing hope and happiness for the youth of the country. With the announcement of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0, will give the push and boost skilling in the country. Given the current scenario, the initiative of skilling, reskilling and upskilling in the major industry segments will contribute greatly not just to the companies but also in pushing the economy in the upward curve. We being a young country, it is imperative that the focus remains on the youth as well. Only then will we be able to reach and achieve the goals we have set.


Daniel Mazon, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Philips Indian Subcontinent

We welcome the announcements made by the Finance Minister in 2023-24 Budget as there is a higher emphasis on expanding health infrastructure and development of technology-based solutions in India. The decision to set up three Centres of Excellences of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will foster innovation to develop cutting edge applications and scalable solutions in healthcare.

We are also encouraged by the Government’s focus on increasing the number of skilled healthcare professionals in the country through new educational institutions as it will increase accessibility to quality healthcare.


Dr Raajiv Singhal, Founding Member, Managing Director & Group CEO, Marengo Asia Hospitals

It is very encouraging to hear that the budget has focused on two most important pillars, first, reaching the last mile that will ensure the accessibility of essential healthcare services beyond metro cities. This will take India closer to achieving Universal Health coverage by 2030.  A much-needed attention is given to infra and investment, which will open new doors for extending the healthcare infrastructure in both urban and rural areas of the country.

Another most appreciated initiative from the budget came out to be the announcement of the establishment of 157 new nursing colleges in core locations. This will emphasise skilling and upskilling of the healthcare professionals so that India is well prepared for any future pandemics.


Richa Singh, Co-Founder & CEO, YourDOST

As a healthcare industry stakeholder, I have mixed feelings about the Union Budget. Although several initiatives in the budget are laudable and oriented towards the vision of accelerating holistic growth, it does not hold a similar promise to the well-being industry.

While the establishment of nursing colleges sits on major potential for skilling the next generation of medical professionals, a similar commitment to the wellbeing industry has been overlooked. The previous budget justly recognised the growing significance of mental health today. Building on that momentum, additional incentives in the sphere would have accelerated the due importance that mental health and well-being deserves today.


Mandeep Singh Kumar, VP and Country GM, Intuitive India

With the economy expected to grow at 7 per cent this year, the budget has adequately focused on the upskilling of the healthcare professionals in the country through opening of nursing schools and encouraging clinical research. Post the pandemic, we have witnessed a rise in the need for quality care, and the Union Budget of 2023 has slowly but surely paved the way for the same. With the need for accelerated adoption of new-age technologies like robotic-assisted surgery in the country, I am glad that emphasis is being laid on multidisciplinary courses for medical devices. This will ensure the availability of skilled manpower for enabling application of futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing, and research.
Wee Yao Ng, Vice President-Country, Edwards Lifesciences India

Edwards Lifesciences India welcomes the Indian government’s plan to emphasise clinical research for new pharmaceutical products and medical device, in premium medical research institutes like ICMR,  in a public private mode and segregating separate funds for initiating research in artificial intelligence for medical technologies. The aim to eradicate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 through timely disease detection and screening is a commendable step towards fighting preventable medical conditions. We hope that this will also pave a path for similar efforts in the future for timely screening of cardiovascular and valvular diseases and other non-communicable diseases such as cancer.

We also hope that the proposal to increase the budgetary allocation for infrastructure by 33 per cent will be utilised in establishing more medical and nursing colleges in building a more robust health ecosystem for the nation. Along with it the inclusion of medical device courses in key institutions will help prepare the upcoming batch of healthcare practitioners to make the best use of available medical technologies for treating the patients.


Siddhartha Nihalani, Co-founder, Practo
The stand-out in the Union Budget 2023-24 is the pro-digitisation approach across the board. It is a testament to the country’s commitment towards promoting digitisation, bolstered by the budget’s vision of ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’. The impact of this approach through skilling initiatives and innovation programmes is a significant boost, especially in the healthcare sector.
AI is the future and encouraging research in the field, through COEs will foster innovation across sectors. Efforts through the 5G services labs in engineering colleges will also aid innovation in the country. This year’s budget has a lot of focus on skilling, education and innovation which is a step in the right direction to propel growth of the economy.
Additionally, setting up 157 nursing colleges is going to help build the strength of healthcare professionals, as India progresses on the path to be a medical tourism hub for surgeries that will boost our paramedical workforce strength.
medical educationnursing collegesSkillingUnion Budget 2023-24
Comments (0)
Add Comment