HKS: Exemplary Shift in India's Healthcare
Last century, healthcare delivery in India was primarily led by private practitioners and doctor-owned hospitals. Almost all large institutions were either run by the government or supported by private donations to be run as charitable hospitals. In the past decade, a growing demand for quality healthcare in India–and subsequent absence of high-quality delivery mechanisms–posed a great challenge and an even greater opportunity. This demand has led to rapid transformation of Indian healthcare from an unorganized to an organized structure, indeed a paradigm shift in the industry. In spite of a deep divide between healthcare facilities in rural and urban India, in terms of accessible healthcare services across the country, the overall Indian healthcare infrastructure is fast improving–with several initiatives by both the government and the private sector.
The growing number of private health systems is attracting domestic and foreign direct investments, further incentivized by government tax breaks, spurring the constant development of Indian healthcare as an industry.
Assessed at a $36 billion industry today, and growing at 15% (www.indianhealthcare.in), it is expected to become a $280 billion industry by 2022. This growth will present new opportunities to various specialties within healthcare, which will emerge as a catalyst for the growth drivers.
With the concept of healthcare insurance yet to gain ground in emerging markets, the growth drivers pose abundant opportunities for business investors, equipment manufacturers, and service providers. This brings the potential for investing in new facilities to meet the growing demand of quality care for domestic patients and also to boost medical tourism. It becomes imperative for global (service) providers to get a feel of what's happening in the Indian playing field to make informed decisions on their investment options in India’s growth story.