The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Saturday urged the Center to immediately withdraw the GST imposed on health services.
In a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the IMA said the decision was unfortunate and unfair to the people of the country and would lead to an increase in the cost of health care, without input tax credit.
IMA, the largest association of modern medical doctors representing more than four lakh doctors and their health establishments, said, “The 47th GST Council meeting has recommended that ‘like CTEP, common biomedical waste for treatment or disposal of biomedical waste’. -Medical waste treatment facilities will be taxed at 12 per cent to enable them to allow ITC’. This is to be effective from July 18, 2022. It was earlier in the GST-free category.”
The GST Council in its meeting has also recommended that ‘the room rent of more than Rs 5,000 per patient per day by a hospital, excluding ICU, will also be taxed at 5 per cent without ITC’. It is to be effective from 18 July 2022. It was earlier in the GST free category.
The letter said, “We, as a collective voice of all establishments and doctors of the country, express our serious concern and objection to these new taxes in the healthcare sector. will add.”
Observing that the country’s health system is not on track due to low government spending on health and people are dependent on the private sector with increased out-of-pocket expenditure, the IMA said the decision to add GST will simply increase the basic rates of beds.
“Keeping the Rates Below Rs 5,000 Would Entail An Increase in other Charges For Viability,” It Said
Similarly, a steep hike of 12 per cent on biomedical waste is unreasonable and will increase the cost of running hospitals and clinics, and will further translate into increased charges for patients, it added. It is not appropriate to charge more on patients in these difficult times.
“The implementation of GST will push healthcare away from a service centric model to a business model and will not be fair to our citizens who are already facing many difficulties,” the IMA said.
IMA National President Dr. Sahajanand Prasad Singh said in the letter, “Therefore, it is our sincere and urgent request to withdraw GST on Room Rent and Biomedical Waste in the larger interest of public health service. Look forward to immediately stopping the levying of GST on meeting and room rent and biomedical waste.”