India’s Healthcare Dilemma: Deficit in Infrastructure

India has a deficit of 2 billion square feet of healthcare space to accommodate the burgeoning population of 1.42 billion. The estimated requirement for additional beds, aiming for a recommended ratio of 3 beds per 1000 people, stands at a substantial 2.4 million beds, according to report by Knight Frank and Berkadia.

PRESENT BED SHORTAGE AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

India currently faces a disparity in hospital beds available versus required, with a 1.3/1000 bed to population ratio, leaving a deficit of 1.7/1000 population. This void presents a lucrative opportunity for both public and private entities to expand their presence in the Indian healthcare sector. The report highlights 582 investment prospects in medical infrastructure, including hospitals, valued at $32 billion, as per Indian government estimates.

GROWTH TRAJECTORY AND MARKET OVERVIEW

India’s health market, estimated at USD $372 billion in 2022, has experienced remarkable growth, escalating from USD $73 billion in 2012, representing an annual average growth rate of 18%. The sector encompasses hospitals, pharmaceuticals, health insurance, and medical technologies, with hospitals dominating 80% of the market.

DEMAND DRIVERS AND INDUSTRY EXPANSION

The exponential growth of India’s healthcare industry is fuelled by various factors, including robust economic growth, increased individual spending power, a rise in an ageing population, higher per capita incomes, growing health consciousness, and enhanced health insurance penetration. Moreover, the surge in lifestyle diseases, particularly cardiovascular ailments, amplifies the demand for specialized healthcare services.

INDIA’S EMERGENCE AS A HEALTHCARE DESTINATION

Despite the existing infrastructural deficit, India has emerged as an attractive and cost-effective destination for healthcare tourism. With quality medical procedures offered at relatively lower costs, the country witnessed a substantial 30% CAGR in foreign tourist arrivals on medical visas between 2014 and 2019. This trend underscores India’s allure as a global healthcare hub despite the infrastructural gaps.

The comprehensive report underscores the pressing need for substantial investment and strategic interventions in India’s healthcare sector to bridge the existing infrastructure gap and cater to the mounting healthcare demands of its population.

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