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NRI doctor presents his wish list for budget
By Ashraf Padanna / AM Abdussalam February 01, 2017
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TRIVANDRUM: Non-resident Indian (NRI) physician-turned-entrepreneur Dr Azad Moopen on Tuesday said he was expecting finance minister Arun Jaitley to unveil some big plans for realising universal healthcare with private participation.

Jaitley is presenting his fourth annual budget in India’s parliament on Wednesday amid high expectations, especially of some populist measures, after a painful and sudden withdrawal of high-value banknotes accounting for 85 per cent of the money in circulation on Nov.8.

“The budget last year signalled some steps on the path to the right to health,” said Dr Moopen, who heads the pan-GCC Aster-DM healthcare conglomerate, in a note released here.

“Health insurance and public-private partnerships for dialysis programmes and generic medical stores formed the focus areas last year. A booster dose is required to maintain the momentum of reforms, looking at the little developments since.”

He wants an insurance scheme for returning NRIs stuck with major illnesses like cancer, heart attack and stroke once they return to India after turning 60, especially those working in the GCC countries.

“Most of them are economically shattered when such calamities happen. An insurance scheme should be floated with their participatory premium while still working to take care of critical illnesses for them and their spouses once back home.

Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar will inaugurate two world-class Centres for Sports Medicine at Aster Medicity, Kochi and Aster MIMS, Kozhikode on Feb.2, according to official sources.

After opening the first centre at Aster MIMS here at 11.30am, the ‘Master Blaster’ will fly to Kochi along with Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare to inaugurate the second centre at Aster Medicity, Kochi at 3.30pm on the same day.

According to a press release, the Centres for Sports Medicine will have the most modern and sophisticated facilities for assessment of physical fitness, management of injuries and enhancement of performance levels in athletes as well as non-athletes of all ages. “The two Centres of Sports Medicine at our flagship healthcare institutions will champion sports in Kerala by providing high quality comprehensive medical, surgical and rehabilitation care to all active individuals — professional, amateur or purely recreational,” Dr Moopen said.

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