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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Opportunities within India’s Healthcare Sector

Medical tourism on the rise:
Given the current state of India’s healthcare system, its challenges and its growth prospects, Medical tourism is one of the major external drivers of growth of the Indian healthcare sector.

According to a new report published by RNCOS, titled "Booming Medical Tourism in India" India’s share in the global medical tourism industry will reach around 3 per cent by the end of 2013. The report states that medical tourism is expected to generate revenue around US$ 3 billion by 2013, growing at a CAGR of around 26 per cent during 2011–2013. The number of medical tourists is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 19 per cent during the forecast period to reach 1.3 million by 2013.

India’s private hospitals excel in fields such as cardiology, joint replacement, orthopedic surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, transplants and urology, “SANCHETI IS ONE OUT OF THOSE SUCCESSFUL HOSPITALS.”

Emerging health insurance market:
In recent years, there has been a liberalization of the Indian healthcare sector to allow for a much-needed private insurance market to emerge.
Due to liberalization and a growing middle class with increased spending power, there has been an increase in the number of insurance policies issued in the country.
Even though only 10% of the Indian population today has health insurance coverage, this industry is expected to witness tremendous growth over the next few years as a result of several private players that have entered into the market. Health insurance coverage among urban, middle- and upper-class Indians, however, is significantly higher and stands at approximately 50% .
However, penetration of health insurance in the rural parts of India is less. Hence, there is a great scope of future growth in Health insurance in rural India.

Growth of telemedicine:
Only 25% of India’s specialist physicians reside in semi-urban areas, and a mere 3 % live in rural areas. As a result, rural areas, with a population approaching 700 million, continue to be deprived of proper healthcare facilities.
One solution is telemedicine—the remote diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients via videoconferencing or the Internet. Telemedicine is a fast-emerging trend in India, supported by exponential growth in the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector, and plummeting telecom costs.

Medical equipment market:
The rebuilding of India’s healthcare infrastructure, combined with the emergence of medical tourism and telemedicine, will drive strong demand for medical equipment, such as x-ray machines, CT scanners and
Electrocardiograph (EKG) machines.. Many international companies have expanded their operations in the Indian market in recent years and established manufacturing facilities to assemble equipment for the domestic market and export sales. The competition is expected to intensify with the entry of more global firms into the medical equipment marketplace.

The government is encouraging the growth of this market, through policies such as
•    Reduction in import duties on medical equipment,
•    Higher depreciation on life-saving medical equipment (40%, up from 25%),
•    A number of other tax incentives.


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