Indian Healthcare, 2015


Introduction :

Healthcare has become one of India’s rapidly growing sectors highlighting tremendous advances in terms of technology, revenue as well as employment. It comprises of hospitals, clinical trial centers, medical device manufacturers, diagnostic centers, medical tourism, health insurance, etc. The Indian healthcare industry is expanding at a brisk pace because of it’s improving coverage of essential services, and raise in spending capacity both by the public as well as private sector. According to recent survey in 2013 by WHO, India’s total expenditure on health per capita was 215 Int $.

History :

The roots of Indian healthcare can be traced from around 3500 years back marked by Ayurvedic practice of medicine. Healthcare is not just a sector which gives economic boost to India, but actually gives identity, knowledge, and ancient practices which causes development of it on firm grounds considering the main focus, not just on physical health, but also mental and other aspects of health. The sad part is having looted it well for over two hundred years, the British left India in 1947 without any appropriate health check up facilities. Before the independence, healthcare in India was based on voluntary work and traditional methods of medications were used to cure diseases based on knowledge passed from one generation to next. But the scenario changed drastically after independence as government of India emphasized on providing basic healthcare facilities. But due to financial restrictions, it was not possible for the government to complete healthcare needs of all, but the historic entry of private sector into this industry led to reduction in gap between needs of the people and supply. Health care facilities and personnel increased substantially between the early 1950’s and early 1980’s. Then, came new insight into the field of medicine popularly known as telemedicine, a delivery of healthcare information across the distances using telecom technology. In 2000, World Health Organization’s Report ranked India’s healthcare system at 112 out of 190 countries.

Advancements :

Now in 2015, the Indian healthcare market is worth 100 billion USD and is further expected to expand upto 280 billion by 2020 with a magnificent compound annual growth rate of 22.9%. This significant increase is mainly due to availability of a large pool of well-trained and knowledgeable healthcare professionals as well as cost of medical treatments which are one-tenth when compared to that of the US or Western Europe. The Indian healthcare industry has emerged to be one of the top contenders among the affordable service players. Also, spending on healthcare is said to have raised by 12% per annum. Recent study by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) indicated that hospitals and diagnostic centers attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth 3.14 billion USD between April 2000 to June 2015. The reason behind such tremendous growth is medical tourism in India. India is placed among the top three medical tourism destinations in Asia, mainly due to low cost of treatment, quality healthcare infrastructure and availability of highly-skilled doctors. Now-a-days a steady increase in annual income, growing elderly population, sedentary lifestyle, excess of work pressure have become the drivers of all healthcare segments. When it comes to the Indian pathology industry, an important aspect is the compound growth rate of 20% per annum over the last five years achieved due to accelerated advancements in technology driving more efficient as well as reliable results in increasing numbers.

Future Scope :

The Indian medical tourism industry is expected to reach 2 billion till the end of 2015 as currently it is pegged at nearby 1 billion USD per annum, growing at around 18 %. India is now among the top five emerging pharmaceutical markets in the world which is expected to grow in double digits. Also, majority of global players in healthcare are now diverting focus on setting benchmarks to compete with the Indian market on the FDI norms. In addition, changing demographics, disease profiles and the shift to increasing percentage of lifestyle diseases in the country has led to increased spending on healthcare services which will definitely help in future prospects as preventive healthcare is in ever increasing demand. Many of the renowned Indian pathology laboratories and diagnostic centers are now willing to expand globally with outsourcing contracts. It has been observed that, 70% of Indian population lives in rural areas, so still there is a huge scope for fulfilling their demands, by providing healthcare services at affordable costs. This is similar to our mission which is, “ Serve to 50% of world’s population, 50% of their diagnostic needs, at 50% of the costs.”

The Government of India is now aiming to develop India as a global healthcare hub. Also, investment in healthcare infrastructure is set to rise, benefiting both ‘hard’ (hospitals) and ‘soft’ (R&D, education) infrastructure and most importantly the benefits of both trickling down to the consumers of healthcare services.

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