Indian healthcare industry expected to be worth $280 billion by 2020:

The healthcare sector in India is undergoing a phase of reform propelled by rapid economic growth.Apart from the health care providers, emerging markets such as diagnostic chains and medical device manufacturers are attracting increasing amounts of investment.

Compared with all other states, Maharashtra is forecasted to maintain its dominance as the state with highest cumulative healthcare infrastructure expenditure, with spend of $ 7.3 billion between 2009 -2013.

Manipur and Nagaland expected to grow the fastest on the development of healthcare expenditure – over 8 per cent, against an overall national average of 5.8 percent between 2009 -2013.Uttar Pradesh that hosts over 16 percent of the population is presently amongst lowest spenders in terms of expenditure per person less than $5 as per 2006 figures, expected to grow to $25 between 2009-2013.

The Indian healthcare sector is expected to reach $100 billion by 2015 from the current $65 billion, growing 20 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y). The industry aims to touch $280 billion by 2020, on the back of increasing demand for specialized and quality healthcare facilities.

Meanwhile, the hospital services market, which represents one of the most important segments of the Indian healthcare industry, is expected to be worth $81.2 billion by 2015.

Further, the healthcare segment offers an attractive growth opportunity for the information technology (IT) and business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry. The market for outsourced services to healthcare payers is expected to increase from $9 billion in 2011 to $15 billion in 2016. In addition, the Indian pharmaceutical market is also expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.3 per cent during 2011-12 to 2013-14.

The present story:

At present the industry is pegged at $65 billion, the healthcare sector attracts 4.6 percent of total GDP spent in India. There is a huge demand-supply gap in the healthcare delivery business in India.

The presence of public healthcare is not only weak but also under-utilised and inefficient. However, the private sector is quite dominant in this sector. 74 percent of the total spending on healthcare in India is from the private sector and that inadequate public investment in healthcare infrastructure has given opportunity to private hospitals to take a major share of the market. Government policy has not been conducive to attract specialist doctors to rural areas and so the healthcare infrastructure in such areas where 65 percent of the population live, continues to be inadequate.

Also, the government needs to invest more in the healthcare sector. Creating more medical colleges is a necessity today.

With a population of 1.2 billion, India needs more doctors and specialists to accommodate the growing healthcare needs of the people. Moreover, India needs international standards of medical facilities to offer quality healthcare services, and taxes should not become a barrier to achieving that.

Ultimately, it will benefit patients – they won’t have to pay a higher price for the services and will also get the best available treatment.