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The Health Industry’s Impact on India’s Economy and Society

India is the seventh-largest country in the world and home to the second-highest population. With a fast-growing economy, its 1.3 billion people continue to enjoy an improved standard of living.

The secular federal republic has a vast healthcare system, which is an essential component of its people’s welfare. Everyone has access to high-quality medical care regardless of social or economic status.

Health services are free for the economically-challenged, but if you’re looking for the top hospital in India, you might need to check the private sector.

Healthcare: A Growing Industry in India

Healthcare is one of the biggest industries in the country, generating high revenues, and employing many professionals. With the ongoing strengthening of its universal coverage, the medical sector continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Both public and private expenditures are increasing due to improving medical services, which includes hospitals, medical equipment and devices, telemedicine, clinical trials, and many other elements of the broad healthcare system.    

Quality Healthcare for All

Healthcare services in the country are delivered in two ways: public and private.

The government shoulders most of the public healthcare system, providing secondary and tertiary services in key cities. It also includes many primary healthcare centres, which make basic medical services accessible to even the most rural areas.

Through Mission Indradhanush, the government aims to cover at least 90% of unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children in both the rural and urban areas.

On the other hand, the private sector provides quaternary medical care on top of the secondary and tertiary healthcare institutions. Expectedly, the top hospital in India is in this segment of the country’s healthcare system.

The majority of these healthcare institutions are concentrated in metropolitan areas and highly developed cities. They also have some of the best doctors and other medical professionals in the region.  

Internationally Competitive Healthcare

India’s large pool of highly-trained medical professionals is recognised internationally for their skills. What is more, the medical services they offer are fairly affordable, especially considering its high quality.

Compared to its neighbours in Asia and even some Western countries, India’s health services are very cost-competitive. Surgery in the country costs about a tenth of that in the US and Western Europe.

Every year, many tourists from all over the world turn to the top hospital in India for premium health services at a low price. This puts medical tourism among the top income-generators for the country. At an estimated worth of $9 billion, it is safe to say that business is booming.

Aside from providing the best in modern medicine, India also promotes Ayurveda, a unique traditional practice helpful in post-op recovery.

In addition, most of its doctors and other medical professionals are fluent in English, which makes communication with foreign patients much easier.

Along with ongoing efforts to streamline visa applications, more tourists are expected to cross borders to take advantage of India’s world-class and standardised medical services.

Government and Private Sectors Hand in Hand

With the rapidly growing state of the healthcare industry, the market is expected to increase three-fold to $133.44 billion by the year 2022.

Medical tourism is estimated to continue its 18% growth year on year, and government spending on the medical sector has already increased from 1.3% of the GDP in the fiscal year 2017 to 1.6% in the current fiscal year.

With the current trend in the industry, it is no surprise that the government is aiming to allocate 3% of the GDP to medical expenditure by 2022.

While the Indian government is all in with its efforts to improve the country’s healthcare system, private entities are not far behind. A total of $6.72 billion in Foreign Direct Investment has been poured into various hospitals and diagnostic centres in the last two decades.

Last year, Microsoft India partnered with local hospitals to come up with AI-powered information technology that will help in the fight against cardiovascular diseases.

This year, private companies are doing more than their fair share in the fight against the COVID-19 virus by investing in mobile sample collection labs and pledging to help in the manufacture and sale of Remdesivir, a potential vaccine.

There is no shortage in the effort to continue improving the healthcare services in the country, from both the government and the private sector.     

A Bright Tomorrow

India’s healthcare industry is highly invested in improving people’s lives, both locally and internationally. It also offers many opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. With its highly diversified sector, there are many segments to explore.

Overall, the future is looking bright for India’s healthcare system, which is good news for both locals and tourists. 

Author: Ester Adams