Overpopulated, with over 1.2 billion people in the country, healthcare in India leaves a lot to be desired. India only has 1.3 hospital beds per 1,000 people, a significant difference from the 3.5-bed guideline defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A study conducted in 2014, stated that India was one of the top three destinations for medical tourism in Asia. To understand the conflicting statistics better, let's take a look at India's healthcare industry, and understand what's really going on.
As a medical tourism destination, several people from all over the world choose to come to India for medical treatment.
Some compelling reasons are:
On the surface, we seem to have a fairly well-developed healthcare system. However, the reality which we tend to forget is that these medical hubs are
mainly concentrated in the big metropolitan cities. Smaller cities, towns
and even the outskirts of the big cities do not have access to the same
kind of facilities that are available in the metros. The good news,
however, is that India's healthcare industry has been growing. It has
become one of the country's largest sectors, and the growth is predicted
to continue, with healthcare becoming a $ 280 billion industry by 2020.
The private sector is getting involved in the tier-I, tier-II and tier-III cities, and this will drive growth in India's healthcare sector. Around 80% of future investment in the industry is expected to come from the private sector. Anticipating this growth, financial institutions have also started specialised finance options for those looking to invest in the sector. By offering customised solutions to fit the needs of doctors, diagnostics centres, hospitals, and nursing homes in the country, more people will have access to great healthcare in the years to come. In a couple of years, the big cities won't be the only ones with access to excellent healthcare, and people won't have to travel from their hometowns, in search of good doctors. With the new budget allowing duty exemptions on certain medical equipment, and the customised solutions of numerous financial institutions, we can look forward to a healthier India in the coming few years.
Hospital Planning and Management is designed to deliver a knowledge based compendium of best practices as seen by industry leaders. A large number of the hospitals especially in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities are initiatives driven by professional doctors, who are specialists in their fields. This however brings to light a key issue faced by these professionals, which is namely a lack of access to quality hospital management information. Be it processes or equipment; this is and will continue to be a challenge in the mid to long term.
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