Healthcare 2011: Of misery tax, tragedy

Posted on January 2, 2012. Filed under: healthcare, intellectual property, life |

New Delhi: For India's healthcare industry, expected to double to $100 billion by 2015, this year was marked by expansion and consolidation as well as painful moments of the Kolkata hospital fire.

Besides, there were irritants like the move to impose the 'misery tax' on the sick.

Major chains like Fortis and Apollo continued expansion to cash in on the ever increasing lifestyle-related health issues, coupled with improving insurance reach, government initiatives and improving incomes.

Max Healthcare, meanwhile, sold off 26 per cent stake to South Africa's Life Healthcare Group for Rs 516.5 crore. It was not the best start to the year for the private healthcare providers, with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee deciding to impose 5 per cent service tax on treatment in air-conditioned hospitals with more than 25 beds paid either by individuals, insurance firms or companies.

Miffed at this Budget proposal, the industry called for the removal of the tax, which they termed…

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