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December, 2011

Brief Overview

India is poised to record additionalprogress in its economy after the slump that astounded almost all the keymarkets around the globe, the initial signs andfinancial report all presenting anoptimisticascending trend. The risingreputation of India on the transnationalground is one of the major reasons that have prompted a rise in the number of foreign tourists and corporate visitors in the country, thereby giving a boost to the various sectors in the economy which also includes healthcare and medical tourism sectors.

It has been clearly suggested that the healthcare sector will transform into a major sector that will fuel the economic growth and largely contribute to increased revenues, along with IT Services and Education sectors by the All India Management Association in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) together in their "India's New Opportunities- 2020". Also, the report further suggests that these new opportunities are expected to create 40 million new jobs and around 200 billion increased revenues by the end of 2020.

Healthcare – Market Size

The Indian healthcare industry is witnessing growth at a rapid pace and it is expected that the sector will touch US$ 238.76 billionby 2020. A number of major players in the healthcare sector are actively participating in the growth through expansion plans and putting in huge investments in Healthcare sector in the country. According to the Investment Commission of India the healthcare industry in India has experienced remarkableevolution of an added 12 per cent per year during the last 4 years driven by a number of factors such as increase in the average life expectancy and average income levels, and rising awareness for health insurance among consumers.

Healthcare – Trends and Investments

National Health Regulatory and Development Authority, NHRDA, with enforcement and complaint redressal powers, will oversee contracts, sanction health care service suppliers, improved decent standards for care delivery, implement patient's charter of rights and take other measures to provide universal healthcare, according to the panels' study.

Life Healthcare, South Africa's second-largest hospital chain, is acquiring a 26 per cent stake in Analjit Singh-led Max Healthcare, making this one of the largest foreign investment deals in the Indian healthcare sector. The US$ 1.1 billion Life Healthcare, which operates 63 facilities with 8,322 beds in South Africa and Botswana, willprovide strategic inputs to the Indian venture, but will not actively participate in the management of the company. In the last few years, healthcare chains such as Parkway and funds such as Avenue Capital, Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus have invested in the US$ 65 billion Indian healthcare sector.

Fortis Healthcare (India) will acquire Singapore-based Fortis Healthcare International, privately-owned by the Indian company's founders, for US$ 665 million.In September, the Indian hospital chain operator announced its plan to buy Fortis Healthcare International, to bring the group's entire healthcare business under one entity.

LITHA Healthcare, the fourth-largest pharmaceutical company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), has entered into a strategic tie-up with NatcoPharma, a Hyderabad-based generic pharmaceutical manufacturer. Under the new agreement, Litha's new generics business marketing a range of products developed and manufactured by the Indian company in South Africa (SA) and neighbouring states. The Natco agreement is the second-major generics link-up between Indian and SA pharmaceutical companies. Indian pharma giant Cipla already enjoys a very successful relationship with CiplaMedpro, the third-largest pharmaceutical company on the JSE.

Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is one of the foremost external drivers of evolution of the Indianhealthcare industry. India has emerged as a destination for medical tourism which serves its consumers with well educated, English-speaking medical staff, state-of-theartprivate hospitals and diagnostic conveniences, and comparatively low cost toaddress the high healthcare costs of the western world. India providesbest-in-class treatment, in some cases at very low prices as compared to countries like USA, and UK. India's private hospitals excel in fields suchas cardiology, joint replacement, orthopaedic surgery, gastroenterology,ophthalmology, transplants and urology.

To capitalize on medical tourism and build a sustained public-privatepartnership in the hospital industry, the Government of India is supporting aninitiative to build a "Medi City"in Gurgaon, Haryana, on the outskirts of New Delhi. The compound will include a 900-bedhospital that supports 17 super specialties, a medical college and paramedicalcollege. The project, on 43 acres of land, will cost an estimated US$ 493 million. The Medi City will integrate allopathic care with alternative treatments,including unani, ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine, and it will providetelemedicine services as well.

Healthcare - Government Initiatives

There have been a number of striking initiatives taken up by the Government of Indiafor the enhancement of the healthcare sector in the country. These initiatives center on investment that are closely linked to providing better medical infrastructure, rural health facilities etc.

  • 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) is permitted for health and medical services under the automatic route
  • The National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) had allocated US$ 10.15 billion for the up gradation and capacity enhancement of healthcare facilities
  • Moreover, in order to meet revised cost of construction, in March 2010 the Government allocated an additional US$ 1.2 billion for six upcoming AIIMS-like institutes and upgradation of 13 existing Government Medical Colleges

Road Ahead

India's thriving economy is driving urbanization and creatingan expanding middle class, with more disposable income to spend onhealthcare.The Government of India in association has developed an all-inclusive policy on healthcare which aims to achieve a remarkable growth for the sector which has led to a high number of compelling opportunities such as developingnew infrastructure and providing novel medical equipment solutions for the Indian sector. The sector holds enormous potential which is waiting to be unleashed to the maximum potential.

Exchange Rate used: INR 1 = US$ 0.189 as on December 28, 2011

References: Industry reports, Press releases, Media news