The future of the Indian healthcare industry: Challenges and opportunities

The future of the Indian healthcare industry: Challenges and opportunities  27th March 2023

The Indian healthcare industry is one of the biggest sectors of the Indian economy in terms of revenue and employment. Investment in the public, as well as the private healthcare sector, has shot up multiple times in recent years. This sector comprises hospitals, medical instruments, research and development, outsourcing, and health insurance.

Let us look at the possible future of the Indian healthcare system, industry growth, and the major challenges.

Let us first assess the opportunities in the Indian healthcare industry.

1. Excellent growth rate
The Indian healthcare industry is witnessing a buoyant growth rate in recent years because of the increase in consciousness of the Indians towards health upkeep, especially after Covid-19. Also, a rise in income levels, increasing health awareness, and growing government support in the healthcare sector contribute to a double-digit growth rate. Since 2016, the Indian healthcare industry has grown at a staggering CAGR of 22%.

2. Increase in health insurance
Health insurance in India has seen an increased penetration in recent years. After the advent of Covid -19, even the population living in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, as well as rural areas, are rushing to get health insurance policies. More youngsters are joining the workforce, boosting their disposable income and spending power. This has helped in increasing healthcare spending and is only set to grow at a higher pace.

This presents tremendous opportunities to existing health insurance companies and new entrants. They can develop new and unique policies to capture the untapped health insurance market.

3. Self-sufficiency and export
The Indian pharmaceuticals sector has also witnessed a tremendous pace in research and development and production of crucial medicines. India has accomplished administering over 170 crores of Covid-19 vaccine doses. Moreover, it also exported over 5 crore vaccine doses to around 70 countries.

India has made a mark for itself by achieving this feat in so little time. Vast opportunities lay ahead for Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers to take their production to global levels and cater to the world’s growing demand for medicines and healthcare equipment.

Make in India is becoming a reality. Indian companies have also started manufacturing CT scanners, ultrasound machines, ventilators, and MRI machines, which were fully imported until some time ago.

4. FDI and PPP model
India is inviting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to develop hospitals, healthcare centres, and medical equipment manufacturing. The foreign community is witnessing India as the next big investment destination because of the mix of skills and cost-efficiency of the Indian workforce.

To boost this sector, the government is also actively launching programs such as credit incentives, aggressive expansion through the PPP model (Public-Private partnership), setting up of new medical colleges, etc.

Let us now look at some of the challenges in the Indian healthcare industry.

1. Doctor-patient ratio
A wide gap still exists in the doctor-patient ratio in India. Only 01 doctor is available for every 834 patients in India, which poses a huge challenge in providing medical services in a cost-effective manner.

2. Innovation and implementation of AI
The Indian healthcare industry is in a nascent stage. Innovating and producing high-quality medical equipment and medicines in India at low prices is a challenge. Also, AI-based software in various processes must be implemented as fast as possible as in other developed nations. Covering smaller cities and towns with such software can be a daunting task.

The future of the Indian healthcare industry is bright and shining, with more opportunities in view than challenges. Much is still needed to bring world-class medical services and products to India, especially in smaller cities and towns.

The Indian healthcare industry is growing rapidly, which is excellent news for health insurance as well. With increased awareness of health and fitness in the Indian population after the pandemic, health insurance in India is going through its golden phase. It is penetrating its reach across the length and breadth of the country at a rapid pace, providing ample opportunities for growth in the sector.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.