India’s health care industry (which includes hospitals, medical infrastructure, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, health insurance and medical equipment) is developing at a great pace and is expected to reach $160 billion by 2017, according to Frost & Sullivan.
Spending on health care in India is estimated to be five percent of GDP in 2013. Total annual health care spending is expected to more than double from 2012-2017, to $201.4 billion, an average annual growth rate of 15.8 percent.123 The double-digit growth registered by India’s health care industry can be attributed to several socio-economic factors, including increasing sales of generic medicines (under its $5.4 billion policy to provide free generic medicines to the Indian people), continued growth in chronic therapies, and a greater penetration in rural markets. Other growth drivers are heightened health awareness, increasing affluence, changing lifestyles resulting in higher incidence of related diseases, and increasing government expenditure on health care. Greater penetration of health insurance has also aided the growth in health care spending.
The Indian government plans to cover health insurance for 80 percent of the population by 2020 under its Health Insurance Vision 2020 (released in December 2013). India’s primary health care infrastructure and physician base remain inadequate despite the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) expanding access into tier 1 and 2 cities through the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM). Also, a high out-of-pocket-expenditure by patients (>70 percent of total health care costs)127 implies that many of them living in underinvested areas and either do not have access to health care or have to pay significantly more for treatment because they travel to larger cities and often get treated at a later stage of the disease. To address some of the nation’s ongoing infrastructure deficiencies, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has allocated $5.87 billion for near-term development.128 India’s health care technology infrastructure is gradually improving and the industry is transitioning from paper files to electronic mediums.
The country’s Health Information Technology (HIT) market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 22.7 percent from 2013-2015.129 Indian health care providers plan to spend $916.40 million on IT products and services in 2013, a seven percent increase over 2012.130 The global demand for low-cost, sophisticated medical treatments is expected to drive opportunities in the Indian medical tourism market. India has been experiencing an influx of patients from Africa, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, the Middle East, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar for organ transplants and orthopedic, cardiac, and oncology problems. The medical tourism market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 27 percent to reach $3.9 billion in 2014 from $1.9 billion in 2011.131 Further, factors such as health care companies entering into management contracts to provide additional revenue streams to hospitals, the re-emergence of traditional (ayurvedic) medical care, and increasing establishment of R&D facilities by global life sciences companies will drive opportunities for health care industry growth in the coming years. Some of the select opportunities will be in diagnostic and pathology services, clinical trials, health insurance, and telemedicine.