Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXVI No. 04, June 1-15, 2016

Healthcare as an industry

Healthcare is among the fastest growing industries, contributing to around 10 per cent of the GDP.

In the Health Summit 2016, CII brought medical professionals, capital market players, businessmen and government officials under one roof to discuss and explore the opportunities in the booming healthcare sector.

In 10-15 years, the healthcare sector will also boom like IT in the 1990s.

A growing population of the aged, increasing incidences of lifestyle diseases, rising incomes and affordability foretell a colourful future for the industry. Medical tourism is expanding not only because of low cost, but also due to the quality of the service, claim the healthcare business tycoons.

“Tamil Nadu can become the global benchmark of healthcare in India. For decades the State lagged behind WHO standards in terms of both infant and maternal mortality rates. The State’s bed density was 0.70 while the WHO average was 2.60. But in the last ten years, it has improved much in both mortality rates. In urban areas the bed density is higher than WHO average. But in rural areas bed density is very low resulting in vast differences between supply and demand in different areas.

“Tamil Nadu has its unique advantages – best in terms of health parameters like mortality rates, a robust public healthcare system, largest and strong private provider base, a hotbed for innovation and emergence of non-profit and other institutions delivering outstanding services.

“The only thing we have to do is to create a primary healthcare system like Sugavazhvu and Swasth India, be a lighthouse for urban health and sanitation archetype across top ten cities and utilise unlocked provider capacity like AYUSH and RMP practitioners,” says Prashanth Vasu, Partner, McKinsey & Co.

Private players, although expensive, are preferred even by rural folks because of the quality of service.
Technology can aid in providing continuous monitoring of the health of patients who have undergone surgeries just like reminders of car maintenance. You can see an increasing trend in online review of doctors and healthcare institutions.

“Public Private Partnership (PPP) in healthcare can improve access to healthcare and change the government from being a provider to player and will aid in providing quality healthcare.

“Biotech parks and institutions must focus on translational research. Cochlear implants carried out under Tamil Nadu Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme have changed the lives of many deaf and dumb people,” said Dr. Mohan Kameshwaran, Chairman and Managing Director, MERF Hospital.

The healthcare segment has everything an investor looks for – quality assets, people who are star-personalities, technology and branding. It is dominated by the private equity support and will continue to flourish, especially the single speciality hospitals. Venture capital will be more in medical devices and diagnostics areas in the days to come.

“Medical equipment technology offers scope for investment. India imports around 90 per cent of medical equipment and 80 per cent of it is low tech. Though India-based medical equipment and technologies have been well-developed and are provided at modest cost, our hospitals are not willing to buy Indian equipment and are happy to deal with big foreign players at much higher price,” said Dr. Kameshwaran.

(Courtesy: Industrial Economist.)

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