India’s healthcare industry is expected to become a billion dollar industry, as its set to reach $372 billion in 2022, says a NITI Aayog report ‘Investment opportunities in India’s healthcare sector’.
It outlines the range of investment opportunities in various segments of India’s healthcare industry that comprises hospitals, medical devices and equipment, health insurance, clinical trials, telemedicine and medical tourism. The report states that market segments are expected to diversify as an ageing population with a growing middle class increasingly favors preventative healthcare.
Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO, says that healthcare has become one of the largest sectors of the Indian economy, in terms of both revenue and employment. “Several factors are driving the growth of the Indian healthcare sector, including an ageing population, a growing middle class, the rising proportion of lifestyle diseases, an increased emphasis on public-private partnerships as well as accelerated adoption of digital technologies,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has not only presented challenges but also several opportunities for India to grow. All these factors together make India’s healthcare industry ripe for investment.”
Rising proportion of lifestyle diseases caused by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, poor diet and alcohol consumption in urban areas is boosting demand for specialized care services, it highlighted. “In addition to these demographic and epidemiological trends, COVID-19 is likely to catalyse long-term changes in attitudes towards personal health and hygiene, health insurance, fitness and nutrition as well as health monitoring and medical check-ups. The pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, including telemedicine. There is growing emphasis on and emergence of Public-Private Partnership models in India’s healthcare sector.”
The report pointed out that India’s relative cost competitiveness and availability of skilled labour are also making it an increasingly favoured destination for medical value travel. It stated that the expansion of private players to tier-2 and tier-3 locations, beyond metropolitan cities, offers an attractive investment opportunity.
In regards to pharmaceuticals, the report stated that India can boost domestic manufacturing, supported by government schemes with performance linked incentives, as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. In the medical devices and equipment segment, expansion of diagnostic and pathology centres as well as miniaturized diagnostics have high potential for growth. The report also said that technology advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI), wearables and other mobile technologies, along with Internet of Things (IoT) offer numerous avenues for investment.