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Healthcare sector – On a growth trajectory

The healthcare ecosystem in India is rapidly evolving. The recent pandemic that scared the world brought home some harsh truths. It emphasized the need for digital integration and remote access to healthcare and unraveled the shortcomings of our current healthcare infrastructure. The healthcare industry has been swift in filling the gaps and creating solutions to the questions that arose during the crisis. The sector has embraced innovation and technology to provide access to quality healthcare across the country.

Covid-19 highlighted the necessity to improve India’s health­care infrastructure. This is why one of the biggest focuses of the industry has been on tele­medicine. Besides, the up­gradation of diagnostic tools and medical equip­ment, as well as improve­ments in the public and private health infra­structure, have all increased significantly in India’s healthcare sector over the past two years. The pandemic witnessed a need for virtual consultation and at-home services. Our homecare services saw a multifold growth during the pandemic. The demand for these services has stayed constant even post pandemic.

One of the major shifts that we expect in the healthcare industry is rapid expansion of the sector with promising growth opportunities. I believe that a lot of new regional players will be entering the market, especially in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Another change we expect is an increased focus on the franchise model in healthcare.

This can be a game changer for the sector. I am convinced that there is a big opportunity here, and to tap it we are planning to set up 50 orthopedic specialty centers through franchise model in Tier-II and Tier-III cities across India, leveraging our strength as the largest orthopedic center of the world.

Another major focus of the healthcare industry is medical tourism. The government aims to transform India into a preferred medical-tourism desti­nation in Asia. According to a report by Invest India, people are increasingly traveling to India for organ transplants, neurology, orthopedics, and cardiac treatments. Government initiatives like Heal in India campaign are strengthening our global position as a preferred destination for quality healthcare. According to another report, the medical-tourism industry is set to double in India in the next 5 to 6 years at a CAGR of 15–20 percent.

At Shalby, we are well positioned to augment this segment through our established brand recognition, clinical excellence, and patient-care approach with a strong experience of over 28 years. We already cater to a large number of patients from across the world, and foresee a consistent and sizable growth in this.

India has the largest middle-class population in the world, second only to China. With increase in the disposable income through recent decades and awareness about the importance of good health, the per capita expenditure for healthcare has been rising steadily.

In terms of healthcare infrastructure, India has huge potential for growth. As per WHO data, India has only 0.5 hospital beds per 1000 people.

For a population of more than 1.35 billion, currently we have just 1.25 lakh ICU beds and 2 million hospital beds, indicating the magnitude of shortage and potential for growth with developing economy and rising standard of living.

I strongly believe that along with these factors and increased insurance coverage and penetration, there is a massive opportunity for the expansion and growth of the healthcare sector in the coming years.

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