| | DECEMBER 20198EXPERTS TALKTHOUGHT LEADERSHIPHealthcare industry in India is currently pass-ing through a very critical phase in its growth journey. In the economy size of approximate-ly $2.9 trillion and healthcare market size of about $160 -180 billion, India spends close to 4.7 percent of its GDP on healthcare, of which close to 1.15 percent comes from the government coffers. The rest comes from the private industry. More than 65 percent of the healthcare expenditure still comes for Out of Pocket (OOP), one of the highest in the world, despite decades of independence. The US spends close to 18 percent of GDP on healthcare, a figure likely to spiral to 25 percent over the next few years. India cannot be a $5 trillion economy without safer, more affordable and accessible healthcare delivery to its masses. Cur-rently, the country has only about 22 percent of the population covered by insurance. In a country of 1.37 billion people, close to a billion still remain uncov-ered. This is a huge challenge, in as much as it is an opportunity for growth, both for the private industry and the government of India.Ayushman Bharat is a step in the right direction to address this challenge of gargantuan proportions and will be the precursor to `Universal Health Coverage' and `Value Based Care'. More than 50 million fam-ilies will be covered under the scheme. Close to 67 percent of the Indian population stays in rural areas. The healthcare delivery in the urban areas is twice as much as that in the rural areas. One of the major challenges for Ayushman Bharat will be bridge this divide. Healthcare delivery is still very skewed in the rural areas. Not many private players are willing to establish healthcare enterprises in the rural areas, a critical requirement to meet the ends of Ayushman Bharat. Reasons are many and none the least is unviability of the investment.Healthcare is a capi-tal-intensive industry. A hospital can take anything from three to four years to breakeven. Add to that two to four years more for planning and construction activities. A cash breakeven and payback can take much longer, so that's a huge risk. Government doesn't have the funds to invest and the private healthcare players must there-by pitch in to ensure, we meet the ends of safe, affordable and By Hemraj Singh Parmar, CEO, BR LifeHemraj is a healthcare leader with P&L responsibility and deep understanding of the global healthcare industry, graced with more than two decades of managing organizations and front line leadership experience.HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY IN INDIA: WHAT LIES AHEADWE NEED TO ALSO FIND MORE INNOVATIVE AND ASSET LIGHT HEALTHCARE DELIVERY MODELS FOR RURAL AND TRIBAL AREAS, MAY BE BASED ON HUB AND SPOKE
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