With the demand for healthcare services set to more than double in the next five to ten years, the Indian healthcare industry appears ripe for investment. A robust economic reform process and inflated healthcare budgets have attracted big ticket foreign investments in several sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, clinical trials, medical devices and equipment, healthcare services, insurance, and outsourcing.
New Country Industry Forecasts from the Frost & Sullivan Economic Research and Analytics team addressing the Indian Healthcare Industry reveals that opportunities exist in the pharmaceutical and medical tourism sectors of the industry.
India's recognition of pharmaceutical product patents and establishment of new regulatory bodies will likely draw more foreign investors seeking outsourcing opportunities in the country. Additionally, the creation of a suitable infrastructure coupled with an increase in healthcare as well as drug and pharmaceutical R&D expenditures will attract new drug development projects.
"The government is not sparing any efforts to promote India as a hot destination for medical tourism," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Konda Reddy. "It has increased the budget outlay toward the development of medical tourism centers across the country."
By increasing public healthcare expenditures to 2.0 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010, as stated in the National Health Policy, the government will help to increase the number of healthcare centers in remote areas and improve essential healthcare supplies.
The government continues to work toward delivering effective and affordable healthcare services to the population's vulnerable sections residing in rural areas through its common minimum program and national rural health mission.
India also looks to modernize its healthcare system through greater collaboration with the healthcare industry. Specifically, the country hopes to provide innovative drugs, expand healthcare insurance, as well as provide modern medical equipment and better services. The government aims to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare services using information and communication technology with its implementation of Telemedicine, one of the world's biggest healthcare projects.
Healthcare-related programs such as e-Health and the government's encouragement of public-private partnerships, have improved the accessibility, standard and quality of medical services. India continues to give priority to its national disease control programs, which receive considerable funding from various bilateral and multilateral donor agencies.
The various health and family welfare programs must share credit with the country's economic and social transformation, for the improvements in basic healthcare indicators such as infant mortality rate (IMR), maternal mortality ratio (MMR), life expectancy, and death rate over the last decade.
Despite obstacles, the economy will likely improve steadily from 2006 to 2010. The GDP and gross capital formation are expected to increase, while the inflation rate will likely decrease. Furthermore, the government will also implement policies to significantly lower the unemployment rate.
"This conducive investment environment has directly and indirectly enhanced healthcare infrastructure, facilities, and the quality of healthcare professionals in India," notes Reddy. "This has, in turn, improved the standard of health services in the country, making it a potential regional hub for healthcare services in the Asia Pacific."
The three-part series addressing the Indian Healthcare Industry is part of the Frost & Sullivan Healthcare GPS subscription services. The Political and Policy Analysis of the Indian Healthcare Industry provides a detailed coverage of the political establishment, general economic and industry specific policies, and their impact on the industry. The Economic Analysis provides an overview of the market size, a discussion of drivers as well as restraints, and an analysis of market structure in the context of the overall Indian economy. The Social, Infrastructure, and Labor Analysis studies the labor market dynamics, infrastructure conditions, and consumption profile of end-users. Analyst interviews and briefings are available to the press.
Frost & Sullivan's Country Industry Forecast research provides a unique country-specific perspective on various industries. The valuable Country-Industry Linkage includes in-depth analyses and forecasts.
The Frost &Sullivan Economic Research and Analytics team provides research focused on timely and critical sociometric, econometric, demographic, political, and regulatory information for specific countries by industry. It produces research services, economic impact articles, and economic updates that discuss relevant and critical economic trends.
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