India's healthcare system is developing rapidly and continues to expand its coverage, services and expenditure in the public as well as private sectors. This is creating a large market for hospital information systems and other healthcare-related IT solutions.
Healthcare providers in India are expected to spend US$ 1.08 billion on IT products and services in 2014, a four per cent increase over 2013, according to Gartner. It is expected to reach US$ 276 million in 2014, up from US$ 266 million in 2013 – with the consulting segment growing by 8 per cent.
The domestic health care sector is poised to touch US$ 100 billion by 2015 and US$ 275.6 billion by 2020, according to industry estimates.
In 2013, healthcare and life sciences emerged as the second favourite destination for venture capital after technology, attracting 27 investments worth US$ 181 million, according to research firm Venture Intelligence.
The hospital and diagnostics centre in India received foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 2,191.91 million, while drugs & pharmaceutical and medical & surgical appliances industry registered FDI worth US$ 11,583.69 million and US$ 741.80 million, respectively during April 2000 to December 2013, according to data provided by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Medical tourism also referred as medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare is a term used to describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international borders to seek healthcare services. Health Tourism includes segments such as multi-specialty hospitals, ayurveda, holistic medicine centres and health spas; adventure tourism and ecotourism providers.
Services typically sought by travelers include elective procedures as well as complex surgeries, etc.
Medical tourism is a booming phenomenon in countries like India. Medical tourists choose India as their favorable destination because of the key opportunities in Indian healthcare sector in the form of efficient infrastructure and technology.
Majority of these tourists came to Indian shores seeking liver transplant, heart surgeries like bypass or pacemaker, bone marrow transplant, hip replacement, knee replacement, eye surgeries, etc. Indian expertise in conducting these surgeries with most advanced technology is at par or sometimes even beyond comparison with its American or European counterparts.
Medical tourists visiting India are anticipated to touch 3,200,000 by 2015 and medical tourism is expected to grow at an annual rate of 30 per cent till 2015.
India’s decision to offer visa-on-arrival to citizens of 180 countries will be a boom for the medical tourism industry in the country, as per Mr Ajay Bisaria, Joint Secretary of the Eurasia Division of the Indian External Affairs Ministry.
Apollo Health City, Hyderabad has been bestowed the prestigious ‘International Medical Tourism Award’ for Excellence in customer service, by the reputed International Medical Travel Journal, UK, at a ceremony at JW Marriott Hotel in Dubai on March 12, 2014.
Health tourism is gaining momentum in India. The health tourism industry in India could become a US$ 5 billion business by 2015, as per a McKinsey study.
India and Maldives have signed 3 agreements after delegation level talks between Mr Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, President, Maldives, and Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, on January 2, 2014. The pacts include a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on health cooperation.
Scotland is offering a slew of facilities for Indian pharma and biotech companies to conduct clinical trials, according to Ms Rooma Bussi, Country Director – India, Scottish Development International (SDI). Both Scotland and Indian businesses could partner in stem cell research, clinical trials, regenerative medicine and affordable healthcare, said Mr Pradeep Ramayya, Chief Executive of Scotland-based AxSys Technology Ltd.
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for setting up of National Cancer Institute (NCI) at a cost of Rs 2,035 crore (US$ 333.61 million). NCI will be set up in the Jhajjar campus (Haryana) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The project is estimated to be completed in 45 months.
The Government of India has allocated Rs 67,398 crore (US$ 11.05 billion) to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and Rs 33,725 crore (US$ 5.53 billion) to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under the Union Budget 2014-15.
India is a land full of opportunities for players in the medical devices industry. The country has also become one of the leading destinations for high-end diagnostic services with tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic facilities, thus catering to a greater proportion of population. Besides, Indian medical service consumers have become more conscious towards their healthcare upkeep.
“India is not just a great emerging power, in medicine it is a well-established leader, and we have a lot to learn from this success,” highlighted Mr Alexander Kadakin, Russian Ambassador to India.
Exchange Rate: INR 1 = US$ 0.01635 as on March 18, 2014
References: Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Union Budget 2012-13, RNCOS Reports, Media Reports, Press Information Bureau (PIB)