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Healthcare Sector in India

Last updated on November 11, 2023 by ClearIAS Team

Healthcare sector in India

Healthcare sector in India has grown significantly in both employment and income. Over the past two years, technology and innovation in healthcare have become more prominent, and 80% of healthcare systems plan to increase their investment in digital healthcare technologies over the next five years. Read here to learn more about the Indian Healthcare sector.

The Healthcare sector in India comprises of hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance, and medical equipment.

Due to improved services, coverage, and rising spending by both public and private entities, the Indian healthcare industry is expanding quickly.

Growing incidence of lifestyle diseases, rising demand for affordable healthcare delivery systems due to the increasing healthcare costs, technological advancements, the emergence of telemedicine, rapid health insurance penetration, and government initiatives like e-health together with tax benefits and incentives are driving the healthcare market in India.

Table of Contents

Healthcare sector in India

The public and private sectors make up the two main components of India’s healthcare delivery system.

  • The government, or public healthcare system, concentrates on establishing primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in rural areas while maintaining a small number of secondary and tertiary care facilities in major cities.
  • The bulk of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care facilities are run by the private sector, with a focus on metropolises and tier-I and tier-II cities.

The abundance of highly qualified medical personnel in India is a competitive advantage. India’s costs are competitive with those of its neighbors in Asia and the West.

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  • Surgery in India costs roughly a tenth of what it does in the US or Western Europe.
  • The low cost of healthcare has led to an increase in medical tourism in the nation, drawing people from all over the world.
  • Further, due to its relatively low cost of clinical research, India has become a center for R&D activity for foreign businesses.

The Indian Medical Value Travel Market size is valued at $5-6 bn and is expected to grow to $13 bn by 2026.

  • Over the years, India has become a premier and attractive destination for travelers from across the globe to attain best-in-class clinical treatment, recharge, and rejuvenate
  • The high-end healthcare system in India is as good as the best in the world with complex surgical procedures being done in world-class global hospitals by acclaimed medical specialists at a much lower cost than what it normally takes in other countries
  • India has also become a favored destination for Yoga and Wellness with its focus on traditional therapies through AYUSH.
  • Indian hospitals are largely switching to AI for keeping health records & providing the best possible treatment to patients at the right time.

India is ranked 10th by the Medical Tourism Association on the Medical Tourism Index (MTI) for 2020-21 out of 46 destinations of the world, 12th in the top 20 wellness tourism markets globally, and 5th in wellness tourism markets in Asia-Pacific.

  • India has a large number of accredited facilities, that provide care at par or above global standards.
  • There are 40 Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited and 1400+ National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) accredited hospitals that provide care of quality standards.

India offers the largest pool of doctors and paramedics with high-quality medical training received globally, along with fluency in English.

Also read: Palliative Care in India

Healthcare sector in numbers

The hospital industry in India, accounting for 80% of the total healthcare market, is witnessing a huge investor demand from both global as well as domestic investors.

  • In 2020, India’s Medical Tourism market was estimated to be worth $5-6 Bn and is expected to grow to $13 Bn by 2026.
  • The healthcare sector in India is expected to grow to reach a size of $50 bn by 2025.
  • The digital healthcare market is expected to more than 20% by 2023.
  • The Telemedicine market is the maximum potential eHealth segment in India, which is expected to touch $5.4 Bn by 2025
  • In the Economic Survey of 2022, India’s public expenditure on healthcare stood at 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 against 1.8% in 2020-21 and 1.3% in 2019-20.
  • Over the next 10 years, National Digital Health Blueprint can unlock the incremental economic value of over $200 bn for the healthcare industry in India
  • India has the world’s largest Health Insurance Scheme (Ayushman Bharat) supported by the government.
  • 100% FDI is allowed under the automatic route for greenfield projects.
  • For investments in brownfield projects, up to 100% FDI is permitted under the government route.
  • To promote medical tourism in the country, the government of India is extending the e-medical visa facility to the citizens of 156 countries.
  • India is emerging as a strong market for wearables, with approximately 2 million units sold in 2017, expected to reach 129 million units in 2030.
  • India’s surgical robotics market is estimated to expand to hit the size of $350 mn by 2025.

The healthcare system still faces a variety of problems, such as inadequate budget, a scarcity of healthcare staff, and inadequate infrastructure, despite substantial advancements in recent years.

  • India suffers from a hospital deficit, especially in rural areas, and many of the country’s current healthcare institutions need basic supplies and equipment.
  • In India, the quality of healthcare varies greatly, with insufficient regulation leading to subpar care in some private healthcare facilities and rural areas with inadequate facilities and resources.
  • Over 60% of all deaths in India are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) , which also have high rates of chronic illnesses like diabetes , cancer , and heart disease.
  • India is one of the countries with the least mental health specialists per person.
  • The government spends very little money on mental health. Poor mental health outcomes and insufficient care for those with mental illnesses are the results of this.
  • The imbalance in the doctor-patient ratio is one of the most important issues. The Indian Journal of Public Health estimates that India will require 20 lakh doctors by 2030.

Government initiatives for the healthcare sector

  • Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY)
  • National Health Mission
  • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
  • Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) to strengthen India’s health infrastructure and improve the country’s primary, secondary and tertiary care services.
  • Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission to connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country. Under this, every citizen will now get a digital health ID and their health record will be digitally protected.
  • ‘National Medical & Wellness Tourism Board’ to promote medical and wellness tourism in India.
  • National Ayush Mission, responsible for the development of traditional medicines in India, as a centrally sponsored scheme until 2026.
  • MoU between India and Denmark on cooperation in health and medicine. The agreement will focus on joint initiatives and technology development in the health sector, to improve the public health status of the population of both countries.

Way forward

The healthcare industry in India is very diversified and offers numerous opportunities in each of the provider, payer, and medical technology segments.

Businesses are trying to investigate the newest dynamics and trends that will have a beneficial impact on their business as a result of the increased competition.

Medical device manufacturers have a lot of prospects in India.

  • With significant capital expenditure for cutting-edge diagnostic facilities, the nation has also emerged as one of the top locations for high-end diagnostic services, serving a larger section of the populace.
  • Additionally, Indian customers of medical services are more concerned with maintaining their health.
  • Future demand for healthcare services is anticipated to increase due to factors such as advancing income levels, an aging population, rising health awareness, and shifting attitudes toward preventative healthcare.
  • Healthcare spending increased as a result of more people having health insurance, and this trend is expected to continue over the next 10 years.

The Government aims to develop India as a global healthcare hub and is planning to increase public health spending to 2.5% of the country’s GDP by 2025.

Read:  Climate Resilient Health Systems

-Article written by Swathi Satish

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Healthcare in India – 2022 and Beyond

Healthcare in India – 2022 and beyond

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

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Getting future ready - indian life sciences industry 2022 and beyond, the new normal in healthcare ecosystem will be about how healthcare delivery will innovate in the coming decade..

  • Healthcare delivery globally and in India has witnessed a renewed focus on leveraging digital technology during the pandemic.
  • Various healthcare reforms launched before and during the pandemic such as, National Health Digital Mission (NDHM) and teleconsulting guidelines combined with burgeoning health tech start-up ecosystem, have evolved to make healthcare journey better for Indian population.
  • Thus, “new normal” in healthcare ecosystem will be about how healthcare delivery will innovate in the coming decade and what it means for both patients and healthcare providers. 

D igitization, technological enablement, and automation are affecting industries today in profound ways. Healthcare is no exception. The paradigm of healthcare delivery is changing and is poised for a big leap forward. Healthcare and drug innovation have come into sharp focus as never before. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that health care organizations become more resilient, agile, and innovative through digitally enabled business models with data at the core. The pandemic added urgency and accelerated the process of change for healthcare to become more digitally enabled.

Healthcare delivery is moving outside the four walls of traditional health system. Health care providers have realized that products or services alone, no matter how strong they are technically, will not be enough in future. They should look into the future to engage with their users across the health care value chain, whether that be physicians or patients, and deliver to them not just a better care product or care service, but a better care experience. Also, one needs to keep an eye on developments coming from non-core sources like technology companies which could further help in diagnosis or early detection and aid the healthcare ecosystem.

Hence, as health care organizations consider to move ahead, creating the right data environment to support a more human-centered approach to health care is an urgent need. Five key trends in data will bring about:

  • A new ecosystem built around the needs of the individual : The explosion of health care data requires a new ecosystem to be built around the needs of an individual enabled by technical standards, open data models and empowered by governance systems that deliver trust.
  • The rise of digital remote care supported by data liquidity: These rising technologies generating data will need equally powerful tools to organize, interpret and draw insights from them — AI is critical in this journey to turn complex information into usable insights, including individualized wellness solutions and show how to efficiently provide care across the ecosystem.
  • Interconnecting broad-based data for highly personalized care: To keep up with the velocity and variety of health data generated today, the health information infrastructure must enable providers to connect, combine, analyze, and share health and social data.
  • Trusted intelligence drives participation and engagement: Trusted intelligence systems will emerge to secure confidence and participation of consumers and other stakeholders .
  • A future-ready culture and workforce that embraces digital: Clinicians will need to leverage medical, data and behavioral science knowledge and skills in the near future to deliver a personalized care demanded by patients. To support this shift, healthcare entities must decide now where to invest in education, training and recruiting.

Healthcare delivery in India witnessed a renewed focus on leveraging digital technology during the pandemic. The sector, predominantly recognized for sick care delivery, has looked at building next-gen capabilities that will be a differentiator in the decade ahead. Several reforms launched before and during the pandemic such as National Health Digital Mission (NDHM), teleconsulting guidelines combined with burgeoning health tech start-up ecosystem enabled by innovation, have evolved to make the healthcare journey better for Indian population. It is good that the PE/VC funding is also coming to support the health tech start up eco system.

Maximizing the clinical, financial, and operational value of these new digital offerings and services requires biopharma, medtech and other health care stakeholders to reinforce digital as an entirely new business model and ecosystem to deliver better outcomes and drive stakeholder awareness, adoption, engagement, and growth.

How EY can help

Going digital.

As digital health moves from future to current state, health providers and payers confront a transformed landscape. Succeeding in the digital health ecosystem may require changing not only how health care organizations operate but how they view the world.

Achieving sustainability

Health care spending is on an unsustainable trajectory, thanks to demographic shifts and globalization. As a result, health systems are focused on sustainability and value as they strive to balance three fundamental imperatives: expanding access, improving quality and managing costs.

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Related content.

As more and more stakeholders will involve and collaborate with the objective of improving the healthcare experience, they will have to “unlock the power of data”. Organizations across the full value chain that are future-ready can take the lead and be best placed to integrate the physical and the virtual. These organizations may lead in offering convenient, transparent, personal, and predictive health experience of the future.

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Gulfood dubai 2023, healthcare industry in india, the indian health-tech market is expected to grow at a cagr of 39% and touch us$ 50 billion by 2033., advantage india, strong demand.

* Healthcare market in India is expected to reach US$ 372 billion by 2022, driven by rising income, better health awareness, lifestyle diseases and increasing access to insurance.

* The healthcare sector is expected to generate 27 lakh jobs in India between 2017-22, over 5 Lakh jobs per year.

Strong Demand

Attractive Opportunities

* India’s public expenditure on healthcare touched 2.1 % of GDP in FY23 and 2.2% in FY22, against 1.6% in FY21, as per the Economic Survey 2022-23.

* Two vaccines (Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield manufactured by SII) were instrumental in medically safeguarding the Indian population against COVID-19.

Attractive Opportunities

Rising Manpower

* Availability of a large pool of well-trained medical professionals in the country.

* The number of allopathic doctors with recognised medical qualifications (under the I.M.C Act) registered with state medical councils/national medical council increased to 1.3 million in November 2021, from 0.83 million in 2010.

Rising Manpower

Policy and government support

* In the Union Budget 2023-24, the government allocated Rs. 89,155 crore (US$ 10.76 billion) to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

* The Indian government is planning to introduce a credit incentive programme worth Rs. 500 billion (US$ 6.8 billion) to boost the country’s healthcare infrastructure.

Policy and Government Support

Healthcare Industry Report

Introduction.

Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors, both in terms of revenue and employment. Healthcare comprises hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment. The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a brisk pace due to its strengthening coverage, services, and increasing expenditure by public as well as private players.

India’s healthcare delivery system is categorised into two major components - public and private. The government, i.e., the public healthcare system, comprises limited secondary and tertiary care institutions in key cities and focuses on providing basic healthcare facilities in the form of Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in rural areas. The private sector provides the majority of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care institutions with a major concentration in metros, tier-I, and tier-II cities.

India's competitive advantage lies in its large pool of well-trained medical professionals. India is also cost-competitive compared to its peers in Asia and Western countries. The cost of surgery in India is about one-tenth of that in the US or Western Europe. The low cost of medical services has resulted in a rise in the country’s medical tourism, attracting patients from across the world. Moreover, India has emerged as a hub for R&D activities for international players due to its relatively low cost of clinical research.

healthcare India

Market Size

The Indian healthcare sector is expected to record a three-fold rise, growing at a CAGR of 22% between 2016–22 to reach US$ 372 billion in 2022 from US$ 110 billion in 2016. By FY22, Indian healthcare infrastructure is expected to reach US$ 349.1 billion. The healthcare sector is expected to generate 27 lakh jobs in India between 2017-22, over 5 Lakh jobs per year.

India’s public expenditure on healthcare touched 2.1 % of GDP in FY23 and 2.2% in FY22, against 1.6% in FY21, as per the Economic Survey 2022-23.

In FY22, premiums underwritten by health insurance companies grew to Rs. 73,582.13 crore (US$ 9.21 billion). The health segment has a 33.33% share in the total gross written premiums earned in the country.

The Indian medical tourism market was valued at US$ 2.89 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach US$ 13.42 billion by 2026. According to India Tourism Statistics at a Glance 2020 report, close to 697,300 foreign tourists came for medical treatment in India in FY19. India has been ranked tenth in the Medical Tourism Index (MTI) for 2020-21 out of 46 destinations by the Medical Tourism Association. With US$ 5-6 billion size of Medical value travel (MVT) and 500000 International patients annually, India is among the global leader destinations for international patients seeking advanced treatment.

The e-health market size is estimated to reach US$ 10.6 billion by 2025.

As per information provided to the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, the doctor population ratio in the country is 1:854, assuming 80% availability of 12.68 lakh registered allopathic doctors and 5.65 lakh AYUSH doctors.

Investments/ Developments

Between April 2000-September 2023, the FDI inflow for the drugs and pharmaceuticals sector stood at US$ 21.58 billion, according to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Inflows in sectors such as hospitals and diagnostic centres and medical and surgical appliances stood at US$ 9.48 billion and US$ 3.22 billion, respectively, between April 2000-September 2023.

During 2022-23 (up to December 2022) Foreign Direct Investment, (FDI) inflow in India stood at US$ 36,746 million. Some of the recent developments in the Indian healthcare industry are as follows:

  • As of August 1, 2023, a total of 24.33 crore Ayushman cards have been created. To prevent, detect, and deter healthcare fraud and to ensure that eligible beneficiaries receive adequate treatment, the Government of India is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). As on October, 2023, a total of 26 crore Ayushman cards have been created.
  • As of February 20, 2023, more than 220.63 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country. While as of May 11, 2023, more than 2.20 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country.
  • As of July 15, 2023, India has exported 30.12 crore vaccine doses.
  • Multinational healthcare company Abbott has committed to converting 75 Primary Health Centers (PHCs) to Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs) in nine Indian States, in collaboration with Americares India Foundation, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to relief and development in the field of health. This will benefit over 2.5 million people from under-resourced communities every year.
  • In November 2022, diabetes management app BeatO raised US$ 33 million in its Series B funding round led by impact investor Lightrock India.
  • In August 2022, Edelweiss General Insurance partnered with the Ministry of Health, Government of India, to help Indians generate their Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) number.
  • The healthcare and pharmaceutical sector in India had M&A activity worth US$ 4.32 billion in the first half of 2022.
  • As of 2023, the number medical colleges in India stood at 706.
  • In July 2022, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released standard treatment guidelines for 51 common illnesses across 11 specialities to assist doctors, particularly in rural regions, in diagnosing, treating, or referring patients in time for improved treatment outcomes.
  • In July 2022, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixed the retail prices for 84 drug formulations, including those used for the treatment of diabetes, headache, and high blood pressure.
  • In March 2022, Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological E applied for emergency use authorisation (EUA) for its Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax for the 5-12 years age group.
  • In January 2022, Phase 3 trials commenced of India's first intranasal vaccine against COVID-19 which is being developed by Bharat Biotech, in conjunction with the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, the US.
  • Startup HealthifyMe, with a total user base of 30 million people, is adding half a million new users every month and crossed US$ 40 million ARR in January 2022.
  • The number of policies issued to women in FY21 stood at 93 lakh, with one out of every three life insurance policies in FY21 sold to a woman.
  • In December 2021, Eka Care became the first CoWIN-approved organization in India, through which users could book their vaccination slot, download their certificate, and even create their Health IDs.
  • As of November 18, 2021, 80,136 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) are operational in India.
  • As of November 18, 2021, 638 e-Hospitals are established across India as part of the central government's ‘Digital India’ initiative.
  • In November 2021, Aster DM Healthcare announced that it is planning Rs. 900 crore (US$ 120.97 million) capital expenditure over the next three years to expand its presence in India, as it looks at increasing the share of revenue from the country to 40% of the total revenue by 2025.
  • In September 2021, a Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik Light received permission for Phase 3 trials in India.
  • In September 2021, Biocon Biologics Limited, a subsidiary of Biocon, announced a strategic alliance with Serum Institute Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Serum Institute of India (SII). The alliance is expected to strengthen India's position as a global vaccine and biologics manufacturing powerhouse.

Government Initiatives

Some of the major initiatives taken by the Government of India to promote the Indian healthcare industry are as follows:

  • PoshanAbhiyan is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the implementation of the scheme being done by States/UTs. To ensure that all Anganwadi Centres are equipped with Smartphones and Growth Monitoring devices (GMDs) such as Infantometer, Stadiometers, and Weighing Scale for Mothers and Infant, the Ministry has released revised guidelines for technical specifications and replacement of GMDs by the States.
  • Under the Union Budget 2023-24, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been allocated Rs. 89,155 crore (US$ 10.76 billion), an increase of 3.43% compared to Rs. 86,200.65 crore (US$ 10.4 billion) in 2021-22.
  • Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was allocated Rs. 3,365 crore (US$ 0.41 billion)
  • Human Resources for Health and Medical Education was allotted Rs. 6,500 crore (US$ 780 million).
  • National Health Mission was allotted Rs. 29,085 crore (US$ 3.51 billion).
  • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) was allotted Rs. 7,200 crore (US$ 870 million).
  • In July 2022, the World Bank approved a US$ 1 billion loan towards India's Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.
  • To promote medical tourism in the country, the government of India is extending the e-medical visa facility to the citizens of 156 countries.
  • In May 2022, the Union Government approved grants for five new medical colleges in Gujarat with a grant of Rs. 190 crore (US$ 23.78 million) each. These colleges will come up in Navsari, Porbandar, Rajpipla, Godhra and Morbi.
  • In November 2021, the Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya, and the World Bank signed a US$ 40-million health project for the state of Meghalaya. The project will improve the quality of health services and strengthen the state’s capacity to handle future health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In September 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. The mission will connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country. Under this, every citizen will now get a digital health ID and their health record will be digitally protected.
  • In September 2021, the Telangana government, in a joint initiative with World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog and HealthNet Global (Apollo Hospitals), launched the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project. The project will pave the way for drone delivery of life-saving medicines and jabs in far-flung regions of the country.
  • According to a spokesperson, the Indian government is planning to introduce a credit incentive programme worth Rs. 500 billion (US$ 6.8 billion) to boost the country’s healthcare infrastructure. The programme will allow firms to leverage the fund to expand hospital capacity or medical supplies with the government acting as a guarantor and strengthening COVID-19-related health infrastructure in smaller towns.
  • In July 2021, the Ministry of Tourism established the ‘National Medical & Wellness Tourism Board’ to promote medical and wellness tourism in India.
  • In July 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the continuation of the National Ayush Mission, responsible for the development of traditional medicines in India, as a centrally sponsored scheme until 2026.
  • In July 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Denmark on cooperation in health and medicine. The agreement will focus on joint initiatives and technology development in the health sector, to improve the public health status of the population of both countries.
  • In June 2021, the Ministry of Health, and Family Welfare, in partnership with UNICEF, held a capacity-building workshop for media professionals and health correspondents in Northeastern states on the current COVID-19 situation in India, to bust myths regarding COVID-19 vaccines & vaccination and reinforce the importance of COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).

India’s healthcare sector is extremely diversified and is full of opportunities in every segment, which includes providers, payers, and medical technology. With the increase in the competition, businesses are looking to explore the latest dynamics and trends which will have a positive impact on their business. The hospital industry in India is forecast to increase to Rs. 8.6 trillion (US$ 132.84 billion) by FY22 from Rs. 4 trillion (US$ 61.79 billion) in FY17 at a CAGR of 16–17%.

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 the population. Besides, Indian medical service consumers have become more conscious towards their healthcare upkeep. Rising income levels, an ageing population, growing health awareness and a changing attitude towards preventive healthcare are expected to boost healthcare services demand in the future. Greater penetration of health insurance aided the rise in healthcare spending, a trend likely to intensify in the coming decade.

The Government aims to develop India as a global healthcare hub and is planning to increase public health spending to 2.5% of the country's GDP by 2025.

References:  Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), RNCOS Reports, Media Reports, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Union Budget 2023-24

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essay on health sector in india

Current Affairs for UPSC IAS

Indian health sector: opportunities and challenges.

  • Category Economy
  • Published 13th Apr, 2021

In Budget 2021 health sector is focused on by Government, which was severely hit by the unprecedented pandemic. The focus has been laid on healthcare and infrastructure with an eye on achieving the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

  • The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the situation no one could ever imagine. Almost all aspects of society have witnessed disruptions.
  • However, every challenge comes with various opportunities, so does this pandemic.
  • It has opened a wide window of opportunities to restructure and reform the Indian health industry which has been in a bad state of repair.
  • Underscoring the significant importance of health and wellbeing for the growth and development of the country, the Budget allocation for the same was increased to ?2,23,846 crore in 2021-22 as against this year's ?94,452 crores, according to an official release.
  • This manifests into an increase of 137%.

Assessing Indian Healthcare Industry

  • In India, the Health care sector is one of the largest sectors in terms of both revenue and employment.
  • Public health care hospitals comprise secondary and tertiary care institutions in urban areas while primary basic facilities are focused in rural areas.
  • Private health care sectors provide secondary, tertiary, and quaternary services in metro cities.

Healthcare Industry in India

essay on health sector in india

What are the issues and concerns of the Sector?

India’s health care sector has achieved some positive achievements on the health indicators but suffers some serious shortcomings in care delivery.

  • Inadequate reach: The inadequate reach of basic healthcare services, shortage of medical personnel, quality assurance, the inadequate outlay for health, and most importantly insufficient impetus to research.
  • Inadequate Fund: The inadequate fund allocation by the administrations is one of the grave concerns.
  • Optimal Insurance: The concept of health insurance is still not clear in India and the market is still virgin.
  • No focus on Preventive Care : In India, there is a very low emphasis on preventive care, which can be proved very effective in solving a lot of problems for the patient in terms of misery or financial losses.
  • Less emphasis on Medical Research: In India, there is no much impetus is being given to R&D and cutting-edge technology-led new initiatives. Such technologies could be useful in an unprecedented situation like Covid-19.
  • Issue of Policymaking: For providing effective and efficient healthcare services policymaking is certainly an important aspect. In India, the problem is fundamental of supply than demand, where policymaking can be effective.
  • Shortage of Medical Workforce: In India, there is a shortage of doctors, nurses, and other staff in the health sector. As per a report laid down by a minister in Parliament, there is a shortage of 600,000 doctors in India.
  • Inadequate outlay for health: As per National Health Policy 2002, India contributes only 0.9 percent of its GDP to the Health care sector.
  • Lack of structure: Private hospitals are expensive and public hospitals are either not enough for the Indian Population or lack the basic facilities.

Opportunities in Health Care Sector

  • Indian health care sector is expected to increase to Rs. 8.6 trillion (US$ 133.44 billion) by 2022. It is almost three times which is what it’s now in present.
  • Data Analytics: With the arrival of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), the digital Health ID will come which will store the data of patients. It would help in effective policymaking and private players can get an edge in introducing the new technologies in the market.
  • Employment opportunity: As we know Indian health care sector lacks a workforce, there is a space for thousands of employees.
  • Start-ups: With the help of Government and private players an environment of start-ups and entrepreneurship can be created in this field.
  • Medical Tourism: India is already one of the favorite medical Tourism Destinations in the world and in the upcoming years this sector can be harnessed efficiently.

What measures are required in the sector?

  • Improving infrastructure: There is a need of improvising the infrastructure of public hospitals which have a lot of burden due to the high population in India.
  • Focus on private hospitals: Private hospitals must be encouraged by the government because their contribution is important. Private sector also needs to participate because the challenges are significant and these cannot be resolved only by the government alone.
  • Efficiency enhancement: More medical personnel must be recruited to enhance the capabilities and efficiency of the sector.
  • Technology utilisation: Technologies must be used to connect the dots in the health system. Medical devices in hospitals/ clinics, mobile care applications, wearables, and sensors are some forms of technology that should be added in this sector.
  • Awareness: People should be made aware of early detection and preventive care. It would help them in saving pocket expenditure also.

The year 2021 could be the year when India consolidates and expands on its social determinants of health (SDH) approach. India now needs to sustain its current interest in strategic health policy as a key pillar of the economy.

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Impact of COVID-19 on healthcare system in India: A systematic review

Megha kapoor.

1 Laboratory of Disease Dynamics & Molecular Epidemiology, Amity Institute of Public Health, Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Karuna Nidhi Kaur

Shazina saeed.

2 Amity Institute of Public Health, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh, Noida, India

Mohd Shannawaz

Amrish chandra.

Despite an extensive healthcare system in India, the COVID-19 Pandemic created havoc upon the existing Indian healthcare system by disrupting the supply of essential healthcare services to patients. It has also highlighted the significant-quality discrepancies of healthcare facilities between the rural-urban areas and between public and private healthcare providers. The not so advanced healthcare system of India was exposed through the lack of oxygen and essential drugs required for the treatment of COVID-19. Additionally, during the pandemic period there was a drastic decline in seeking non-COVID-19 disease related healthcare services. The objective of this systematic review is to determine whether COVID-19 has impacted the healthcare system in India.

Introduction

India, the second most populous country in the world has been severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic since it’s emergence. COVID-19 has impacted every sector in the country including healthcare. Indian healthcare system crumbled under the massive burden of the global pandemic highlighting the gaps and challenges in the existing health delivery system.

COVID-19 or Coronavirus is an upper respiratory tract infection of high virulence. It was formerly known as ‘2019-nCoV’ and is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 1 It first originated from Wuhan city, Central Hubei province of China in December 2019. Several clusters of patients with viral pneumonia of unknown origin were reported to be epidemiologically associated with the Hunan seafood market, Wuhan, China. 2 Soon, cases of pneumonia were reported in other parts of the world as it spread rapidly crossing the borders of China. A massive number of people started losing their lives in China and following its spread to other countries; it was declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30th January 2020 by World Health Organization (WHO). After more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4291 people lost their lives, COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) on 11th march 2020. 3 As the countries continued to struggle with a lack of resources and capacity the viral outbreak spread rapidly worldwide, infecting millions of people all across the globe including India.

Those infected with Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) exhibit a varying range of symptoms ranging from mild to moderate. It affects people of all ages; however, the risk of serious infection increases with advancing age. Patients infected with coronavirus disease and presenting with pre-existing co-morbidities such as diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are more vulnerable to experiencing unfavourable outcomes or experiencing death.

A healthy individual can acquire COVID-19 infection directly by coming in close contact with an infected individual through the droplets emitted during sneezing or coughing. It can also be transmitted indirectly after coming in contact with contaminated surfaces such as door knobs. It affects every individual differently with cough, fever, sore throat, tiredness and lethargy being the most common symptoms of the illness. Individuals can also develop few lesser common symptoms such as loss of taste, diarrhoea, irritation of the eyes and rash on the skin among others. An individual can develop shortness of breath or experience difficulty in breathing and requires urgent medical attention. These symptoms may take 4–5 days to appear after coming in contact with a virus or as long as 14 days and can also be asymptomatic.

The first wave

In India, the first case of COVID-19 infection was reported on 27TH January 2020, when a 20 year old female with a travel history of China presented with a sore throat and dry cough in the emergency department of General Hospital, Thrissur, Kerala. 4 Since then, COVID-19 has taken a serious toll in India and worldwide. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, the Government of India announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days on 24 March 2020, which was further extended. It was not until 30th May, that the government uplifted the restrictions in an ‘unlock’ phase-wise manner. Throughout, national advisories were generated and the norm of ‘social distancing’ and ‘work from home was introduced. People were advised to practise social distancing, wear masks and avoid going out unnecessarily and only people of ‘essential services such as doctors, nurses, police and home services were exempted. These preventive measures allowed the Indian Healthcare delivery system to prepare for the pandemic. These measures stopped the further spread of COVID-19 infection and the efforts of the Indian Government to contain the viral spread were applauded internationally. India has experienced three COVID-19 pandemic waves till now with a massive surge during the second wave in March 2021. 5

The second wave and Indian healthcare system

The first wave had a low infectivity rate since the lockdown was imposed and individuals practised social distancing. Therefore, it largely affected the economy and livelihoods of Indians without any serious implications on the healthcare system. However, during march 2021, the country witnessed the most dangerous second wave that created havoc as individuals started taking preventive measures more casually due to ‘pandemic fatigue’. This was characterized by an increasing number of cases between 25 and 50 years of age, a shortage of essential medicine and equipment, and medical professionals. 6 Indian healthcare system failed to meet daily oxygen demand, Intensive Care Units (ICU) beds and oxygen beds due to which many hospitals had to turn the patients away, resulting in higher mortality rates. This lead to the disruption of routine immunization procedures, and treatment of Non-communicable and communicable diseases. 7 This revealed the overstretched and overburdened existing Indian Healthcare system. This also highlighted the failing healthcare management system and lacking public health system and efficient healthcare models in India. The Indian government failed to respond to the second wave effectively unlike the first wave.

The third wave of COVID-19 in India

With the emergence of the new Omicron variant of SARS-CoV2, the cases increased in January 2022. 8 The majority of the cases were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. With increased administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, the patients admitted in ICU were mostly unvaccinated or with pre-existing co-morbidities. The demand for hospital beds, oxygen beds and ventilators were low and mostly remained unoccupied.

The third wave was different from the first two waves due to various factors such as low virulence of the omicron variant despite high transmissibility and administration of either single or both doses of COVID—19 vaccine to the adult population, authenticating the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the healthcare systems in India. Hence, this review aims to describe the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare system concerning the patient visit and reception of treatment, diagnostic tests done and referral services in India. It is necessary to conduct this review as it will aid in developing new healthcare models in order to manage the COVID-19 pandemic at present and prevent any further waves from arising in the future.

Health care system in India

A sound and effective healthcare system enable the country to respond to a pandemic efficiently by overcoming the challenges and barriers encountered in providing healthcare.

The Indian healthcare system is a mixed framework, including both public and private healthcare service providers. However, a large proportion of private healthcare providers are present in urban India, providing, secondary and tertiary healthcare services. 9

The objective of this systematic review is to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare system in India.

Rationale: The rationale for this study is to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare system in India, considering the challenges, gaps and disruptions experienced during this global health crisis.

Material and methods

Study design.

This systematic review was conducted on the available online published studies in high-quality journals related to COVID-19 impact on healthcare services in India.

Search strategy

A thorough extensive literature search was conducted between 14 February 2022 and 20 February 2022 on the electronic database ‘PubMed’ for quality studies published between time period 2019 and 2022 using the search strategy (impact) AND (COVID-19) AND (healthcare system) OR (Primary Health centre)) OR (secondary health centre)) OR (community health centre)) OR (tertiary health centre))) OR (hospital)) OR (government)) OR (private)) AND (India).

The following keywords and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) entries were used:

COVID-19, healthcare system, India.

Studies that met the eligibility criteria were selected based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria after screening the database for this systematic review.

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

This systematic review included the studies conducted in the English language during the COVID-19 Pandemic assessing the healthcare system in India. Studies involving outpatient clinics visit, hospital admissions, diagnostic tests done, minor and major surgeries and case referrals were also included.

Studies which were conducted in private clinics & not involving government, primary, secondary and tertiary centres, along with the studies conducted on the physical & mental health status of healthcare providers through surveys were excluded as shown in Table 1 .

Summary of excluded studies.

Data extraction

After completion of the initial screening process, a total of seven articles were selected to be included in this systematic review. The study selection process is illustrated in Figure 1 , representing the PRISMA (Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis) flow diagram for this systematic review.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is 10.1177_22799036231186349-fig1.jpg

PRISMA flow diagram of the systematic search.

From the selected articles following data was extracted by preparing an MS Excel spreadsheet: title of the study, study objectives, study methodology and conclusion.

Table 2 shows the summary of all the included articles in this systematic review.

Summary of included studies.

According to the objective of this systematic review the results described based upon the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the health care system in India on various parameters – number of outpatients, number of inpatients, number of patients undergoing minor and major surgeries, emergency trauma cases, patients undergoing nonurgent elective procedures.

Impact of COVID-19 on cancer care in India

From the seven included articles in this review, two articles described the disrupted oncology services in India by comparing these before and during the pandemic. A cohort study to describe the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care in India compared the oncology services provisions by cancer patients between 01 March 2020 and 01 March 2020 with similar duration for 2019 and concluded that there was a 54% reduction in new patient registration, 46% reduction in patient follow-up visit, 36% reduction in hospital admissions, 37% reduction in outpatient chemotherapy, 49% reduction in number of major surgeries, 52% reduction in minor surgeries, 23% reduction in patients accessing radiotherapy, 38% reduction in pathological diagnostic testing, 43% reduction in radiological diagnostic tests and 29% reduction in palliative care referrals. It also found that there was more reduction of oncology services for larger metro cities than smaller cities. 10 Another study, A retrospective analysis from western India determining the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on Cancer care stated reduced patient visits and number of treatments received during the lockdown with chemotherapy being the most common treatment received. 11

Impact of COVID-19 on nephrology services in India

Only one study out of the seven included studies described the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nephrology and transplant services at a tertiary care centre, in Ahmedabad, India. The study concluded that there was significant reduction in a number of outpatients and inpatients between April 2020 and June 2020 when compared with a similar duration in 2019 almost by 50%. There was also a reduction in donor transplants, haemodialysis and nonelective procedures such as renal biopsies and arteriovenous fistulas during March 2020. 12

Impact of COVID-19 on ophthalmic care in India

Three out of seven included studies reported the impact of COVID-19 on ophthalmic care in India. A study conducted at a tertiary care ophthalmic institute in India reported a decrease of 97.14% in the routine patient visit, a decline of 35.25% in emergency outpatient visits, a decrease in routine and emergency ward admissions by 95.18% and 61.66% respectively, a reduction of elective surgeries by 98.18%, decrease of 58.81% in emergency surgeries, reduction of 99.61% in the number of donor corneas collected between 25 March 2020 and 15 July 2020 with comparison on previous year data of the same duration. 13 A study conducted in rural eye centres of Southern India reported that between 23 March 2020 and 19 April 2020, the total number of patients reduced during the lockdown-I period versus pre-lockdown. Only essential procedures were performed and most of the patients were treated for conjunctivitis. 14 A third study, which was conducted in a tertiary eye care Institute reported that there was a reduction in the number of patients presenting with ocular trauma in their emergency department during the lockdown as compared to the previous year. 15

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical practice of trauma and orthopaedics

A single epidemiology study out of seven studies included in this article, which was conducted at a tertiary care centre in New Delhi, explained various outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic on the practice of orthopaedics and trauma through comparison between the pandemic period and pre-lockdown. It stated a reduction by 71.93% in outpatient attendance, a reduction of 59.35% in inpatient admissions, 55.78% reduction in surgical procedures including arthroplasty surgery, trauma and arthroscopic surgery during the pandemic period. 16

This study is being conducted to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care system in India by a systematic review approach based upon the eligibility criteria, seven articles related to the purpose of the study were screened after inclusion and the final analysis was prepared. The included studies defined various parameters – number of outpatients, number of inpatients, number of patients undergoing minor and major surgeries, emergency trauma cases, patients undergoing nonurgent elective procedures, follow-up visits for assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overstretched and overburdened health care system Of India. The studies included in this article reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply affected the health care services in India including cancer care, nephrology services, ophthalmic care, trauma practice and orthopaedics care.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has led to a disrupted healthcare system which has subsequently impacted non-COVID disease conditions. The observed reduction in the number of new patient registrations, hospital registrations, major and minor surgeries, and transplant procedures as summarized in various studies during March 2020–April 2020 could be due to fear of infection among patients. The patients residing in rural parts of India found it difficult to access health services in metro cities due to travel restrictions during the lockdown period and this has led to delays in early screening, correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment which is of grave concern. These patients may present with advanced stages of the disease and create a backlog of patients by overloading the healthcare system.

Hospitals faced certain challenges that inhibited them from providing appropriate care to the patient such as- many hospitals being converted to COVID-19 dedicated treatment facilities and as result, they faced a widespread shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies. Hospitals reported a shortage of adequate staff as they were themselves exposed to the virus. Various hospitals reported lack of necessary medical equipments such as ICU beds and Ventilators which was a major threat.

Despite the lockdown and various challenges encountered, hospitals realized the need of improving the accessibility of healthcare through teleconsultation along with in-person visits during these challenging times. In the absence of direct consultations to the patients, telemedicine was conducted to address the concerns of outpatients and therefore, reduce their need to visit the hospital.

In general, the COVID-19 Pandemic has posed a serious threat to all aspects of the healthcare system in India by affecting the activities of hospitals that provide treatment services to patients for non-COVID-19 diseases.

The results of this study show that Indian Healthcare System during the COVID-19 pandemic has suffered serious challenges, which can be a wake-up call because due to delayed diagnosis, a large number of patients will present with advanced stages of the non- covid-19 disease such as cancers, which may require emergency treatment. Strengthening of the Indian healthcare system is required so that it does not crumble under future pandemics if any. Need of the hour is a robust healthcare model and effective healthcare policies with regular updates to manage the current pandemic along with more emphasis on telemedicine as this is not the last pandemic that India will face. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the healthcare system in India.

Limitations of the study: This study has limitation regarding language inclusion, as the researchers’ proficiency was limited to English, resulting in the exclusion of articles written in other languages. Another major limitation is the bias as the he papers relies on available online published studies in high-quality journals, which may introduce a bias towards studies that have been published and accessible. There may be relevant studies that have not been included in the review, potentially leading to a skewed representation of the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare system in India.

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Funding: The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Ethical statement: No Ethical approval is needed.

India Research Center

Improving Health in India

As the world’s second-most-populous country and one of its fastest-growing economies, India faces both unique challenges and unprecedented opportunities in the sphere of public health.

For more than a decade, India has experienced record-breaking economic growth that has been accompanied by significant reductions in poverty. According to the World Bank, infant mortality in India fell from 66 to 38 per 1,000 live births from 2000 to 2015. Life expectancy at birth has increased from 63 to 68 years, and the maternal mortality ratio has fallen from 374 to 174 per 100,000 live births over the same period.

India also has dynamic pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; world-class scientists, including a burgeoning clinical trials industry; and leading hospitals that attract foreign patients and treat its better-off citizens.

Yet Indian government and public health officials agree that the country also faces persistent and daunting public health challenges, particularly for the poor. These include child undernutrition and low birth weights that often lead to premature death or lifelong health problems; high rates of neonatal and maternal mortality; growth in noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use, leading to cancer and other diseases; and high rates of road traffic accidents that result in injuries and deaths.

As the Indian government strives to provide comprehensive health coverage for all, the country’s rapidly developing health system remains an area of concern. There are disparities in health and health care systems between poorer and richer states and underfunded health care systems that in many cases are inefficiently run and underregulated. New government-financed health insurance programs are increasing coverage, but insurance remains limited.

Public and private health systems are placing huge demands on the country’s capacity to train exceptional health leaders and professionals. Rising to meet these challenges, the people of India have an opportunity to have a major influence on their own future health and on the future of public health and medical efforts globally.

Supporting Development of India’s Health Workforce

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is collaborating with partners across India to address those challenges. Together, the School and its partners are introducing educational innovations to India to expand skills training, degree programs, and leadership development at new schools and institutes of public health. We seek to leverage the School’s resources to help strengthen public health training and build capacity across the health sector in India.

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Essay on Healthcare in India

Students are often asked to write an essay on Healthcare in India in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Healthcare in India

Introduction.

Healthcare in India is a critical sector. It includes public and private hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities.

Public Healthcare

The government provides public healthcare. It’s often free or low-cost, making it accessible to many people.

Private Healthcare

Private healthcare, on the other hand, is usually more expensive. However, it tends to have better facilities and shorter wait times.

India faces challenges in healthcare, like inadequate facilities in rural areas and a shortage of trained medical professionals.

Despite these challenges, India is striving to improve its healthcare system for everyone.

250 Words Essay on Healthcare in India

Healthcare in India is a multifaceted system, encompassing public and private sectors, traditional and modern medicine, and urban and rural disparities. This essay explores the current state of healthcare in India, its challenges, and potential solutions.

Current State of Healthcare

India’s healthcare sector has made significant strides, with increased life expectancy and decreased infant mortality. However, it is riddled with disparities. While urban areas enjoy better healthcare facilities, rural regions grapple with inadequate infrastructure and lack of trained medical personnel.

The challenges are manifold. Accessibility and affordability remain major concerns. A large portion of the population lacks access to quality healthcare, while high out-of-pocket expenses push many into poverty. Furthermore, there is a significant shortage of healthcare professionals, particularly in rural areas.

Public-Private Partnership

A public-private partnership (PPP) is seen as a viable solution. The private sector’s resources and efficiency can supplement the public sector’s reach and affordability. However, the implementation of PPPs requires stringent regulations to prevent exploitation.

Role of Technology

Technology can bridge the urban-rural divide. Telemedicine, AI, and mobile health technologies can facilitate remote consultations, predictive diagnostics, and health monitoring, making healthcare more accessible and affordable.

While India’s healthcare system faces significant challenges, the combination of public-private partnerships and technology can pave the way for an efficient, inclusive, and affordable healthcare system. It is crucial for policymakers, healthcare providers, and technology companies to work together towards this common goal.

500 Words Essay on Healthcare in India

India’s healthcare sector is a study in contrasts, presenting a complex tapestry of cutting-edge advancements and systemic challenges. With an expansive population and diverse health needs, the healthcare system in India is a critical component of the nation’s development agenda.

The Landscape of Indian Healthcare

India’s healthcare infrastructure is a mix of public and private providers. The public system, under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, provides primary, secondary, and tertiary care. However, it suffers from inadequate funding, lack of infrastructure, and a dearth of healthcare professionals. The private sector, on the other hand, is burgeoning. It is technologically advanced, offers high-quality services, but is often criticized for being expensive and inaccessible to the poor.

Healthcare Accessibility and Affordability

Access to quality healthcare is a significant issue in India. Rural areas, in particular, face a shortage of healthcare facilities and professionals. The urban-rural divide is stark, with the majority of quality healthcare services concentrated in cities. Affordability is another concern. High out-of-pocket expenses push many into poverty every year. The situation calls for a robust health insurance framework to protect citizens from catastrophic health expenditures.

Government Initiatives

Recognizing these challenges, the Indian government has launched various initiatives. The National Health Mission aims to improve health outcomes, particularly for the rural population. The Ayushman Bharat scheme, launched in 2018, provides health insurance coverage to the underprivileged, aiming to make healthcare more affordable. These initiatives, while commendable, need effective implementation and monitoring to ensure their success.

Technological Innovations

Technological innovations have the potential to revolutionize India’s healthcare landscape. Telemedicine, artificial intelligence, and digital health records can address the issues of accessibility and affordability. Telemedicine can bridge the urban-rural divide by providing remote consultations. AI can assist in disease prediction and management, while digital health records can streamline patient data, improving efficiency and patient care.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite these advancements, India’s healthcare system faces significant challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of the healthcare infrastructure, with hospitals overwhelmed and resources stretched thin. India also grapples with a dual disease burden – communicable diseases like tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

The future of healthcare in India lies in adopting a holistic approach. This includes increasing public health expenditure, strengthening primary healthcare, improving health literacy, and leveraging technology.

India’s healthcare sector, while fraught with challenges, is teeming with potential. With the right mix of policy interventions, technology adoption, and a focus on equitable access, India can transform its healthcare landscape, ensuring a healthier future for its citizens. The journey is long and arduous, but with concerted efforts, a robust and inclusive healthcare system is achievable.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

  • Essay on Handloom and Indian Legacy
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Health insurance sector in India: an analysis of its performance

Vilakshan - XIMB Journal of Management

ISSN : 0973-1954

Article publication date: 30 November 2020

Issue publication date: 16 December 2020

Health insurance is one of the major contributors of growth of general insurance industry in India. It alone accounts for around 29% of total general insurance premium income earned in India. The growth of this sector is important from the perspective of overall growth of general insurance Industry. At the same time, problems in this sector are also many which are affecting its performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an understanding on performance of health insurance sector in India. This study attempts to find out how much claims and commission and management expenses it has to incur to earn certain amount of premium. Methodology used for the study is regression analysis to establish relationship between dependent variable (Profit/Loss) and independent variable (Health Insurance Premium earned).

Findings of the study indicate that there is significant relationship between earned premium and underwriting loss. There has been increase of premium earnings which instead of increasing profit for the sector in fact has increased underwriting loss over the years. The earnings of the sector is growing at compounded annual growth rate of 27% still it is unable to earn underwriting profit.

Originality/value

This study is self-driven based on secondary data obtained from insurance regulatory and development authority site.

  • Health insurance premium
  • Management expenses
  • Insurance regulatory and development authority
  • Underwriting loss
  • Compound annual growth rate

Dutta, M.M. (2020), "Health insurance sector in India: an analysis of its performance", Vilakshan - XIMB Journal of Management , Vol. 17 No. 1/2, pp. 97-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/XJM-07-2020-0021

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Madan Mohan Dutta.

Published in Vilakshan - XIMB Journal of Management . Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence maybe seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode

1. Introduction

1.1 meaning of insurance.

Insurance is a contract between two parties where by one party agrees to undertake the risk of the other in exchange for consideration known as premium and promises to indemnify the party on happening of an uncertain event. The great advantage of insurance is that it spreads the risk of a few people over a large group of people exposed to risk of similar type.

Insurance has been identified as a sunrise sector by the financial planners of India. The insurance industry has lot of potential to grow, penetrate and service the masses of India. Insurance is all about protection. An insured needs two types of protection life and non-life. General insurance industry deals with non-life protection of the insured of which health insurance is a part.

1.2 Meaning of health insurance

Health insurance is a part of general insurance which contributes about 29% of premium amongst all other sectors of general insurance. But problems in this sector are many which is the driving force behind this study. This study will help the insurance companies to understand their performance and the quantum of losses that this sector is making over the years.

A plan that covers or shares the expenses associated with health care can be described as health insurance. These plans fall into commercial health insurance, which is provided by government, private and stand-alone health insurance companies.

Health insurance in India typically pays for only inpatient hospitalization and for treatment at hospitals in India. Outpatient services are not payable under health policies in India. The first health policy in India was Mediclaim Policy. In 2000, the Government of India liberalized insurance and allowed private players into the insurance sector. The advent of private insurers in India saw the introduction of many innovative products like family floater plans, critical illness plans, hospital cash and top-up policies.

Health insurance in India is an emerging insurance sector after life and automobile insurance sector. Rise in middle class, higher hospitalization cost, expensive health care, digitization and increase in awareness level are some important drivers for the growth of health insurance market in India.

Lifestyle diseases are on the rise. A sedentary lifestyle has pervaded our being. There is lower physical labour today than earlier and there is no reason why this would not be the trend going forward. The implication is the advent of lifestyle chronic diseases such as cardiac problems and diabetes.

In the context of the Indian health insurance industry, one could look at it both ways. Mired by low penetration and negative consumer perception about its utility are affecting the prospect of this industry. The flipside though is that we have hardly scratched the surface of the opportunity that lies in the future. It is as if the glass is half full. Much remains to be conquered and even more remains to be accomplished.

Health insurance companies needs to be optimistic and have courage to bring in innovation in the areas of product, services and distribution system. Bring it to the fold as the safety net that smartly covers and craft a health insurance plan befitting the need of the customers.

1.3 Background of health insurance sector in India

India’s tryst with health insurance programme goes back to the late 1940s and early 1950s when the civil servants (Central Government Health Scheme) and formal sector workers (Employees’ State Insurance Scheme) were enrolled into a contributory but heavily subsidized health insurance programmes. As a consequence of liberalization of the economy since the early 1990s, the government opened up private sector (including health insurance) in 1999. This development threw open the possibility for higher income groups to access quality care from private tertiary care facilities. However, India in the past five years (since 2007) has witnessed a plethora of new initiatives, both by the central government and a host of state governments also entering the bandwagon of health insurance. One of the reasons for initiating such programs may be traced to the commitment of the governments in India to scale up public spending in health care.

1.4 The need for health insurance in India

1.4.1 lifestyles have changed..

Indians today suffer from high levels of stress. Long hours at work, little exercise, disregard for a healthy balanced diet and a consequent dependence on junk food have weakened our immune systems and put us at an increased risk of contracting illnesses.

1.4.2 Rare non-communicable diseases are now common.

Obesity, high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks, which were earlier considered rare, now affect an increasing number of urban Indians.

1.4.3 Medical care is unbelievably expensive.

Medical breakthroughs have resulted in cures for dreaded diseases. These cures however are available only to a select few. This is because of high operating and treatment expenses.

1.4.4 Indirect costs add to the financial burden.

Indirect sources of expense like travel, boarding and lodging, and even temporary loss of income account for as much as 35% of the overall cost of treatment. These facts are overlooked when planning for medical expenses.

1.4.5 Incomplete financial planning.

Most of us have insured our home, vehicle, child’s education and even our retirement years. Ironically however we have not insured our health. We ignore the fact that illnesses strike without warning and seriously impact our finances and eat into our savings in the absence of a good health insurance or medical insurance plan.

1.5 Classification of health insurance plans in India

Health insurance plans in India today can be broadly classified into the following categories:

1.5.1 Hospitalization.

Hospitalization plans are indemnity plans that pay cost of hospitalization and medical costs of the insured subject to the sum insured. There is another type of hospitalization policy called a top-up policy . Top-up policies have a high deductible typically set a level of existing cover.

1.5.2 Family floater health insurance.

Family health insurance plan covers entire family in one health insurance plan. It works under assumption that not all member of a family will suffer from illness in one time.

1.5.3 Pre-existing disease cover plans.

It offers covers against disease that policyholder had before buying health policy. Pre-existing disease cover plans offers cover against pre-existing disease, e.g. diabetes, kidney failure and many more. After waiting for two to four years, it gives covers to the insured.

1.5.4 Senior citizen health insurance.

This type of health insurance plan is for older people in the family. It provides covers and protection from health issues during old age.

1.5.5 Maternity Health insurance.

Maternity health insurance ensures coverage for maternity and other additional expenses.

1.5.6 Hospital daily cash benefit plans.

Daily cash benefits are a defined benefit policy that pays a defined sum of money for every day of hospitalization.

1.5.7 Critical illness plans.

These are benefit-based policies which pay a lump sum amount on certain critical illnesses, e.g. heart attack, cancer and stroke.

1.5.8 Disease-specific special plans.

Some companies offer specially designed disease-specific plans such as Dengue Care and Corona Kavach policy.

1.6 Strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis of health insurance sector (SWOT analysis)

The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) is a study undertaken to identify internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats of the health insurance sector.

1.6.1 Strengths.

The growth trend of the health insurance sector is likely to be high due to rise in per capita income and emerging middle-income group in India. New products are being launched in this sector by different insurance companies which will help to satisfy customers need. Customers will be hugely benefited when cash less facility will be provided to all across the country by all the insurance companies.

1.6.2 Weaknesses.

The financial condition of this sector is weak due to low investment in this sector. The public sector insurance companies are still dominating this industry due to their greater infrastructure facilities. This sector is prone to high claim ratio and many false claims are also made.

1.6.3 Opportunities.

The possibility of future growth of this sector is high, as penetration in the rural sector is low. The improvement of technology and the use of internet facility are helping this sector to grow in magnitude and move towards environment-friendly paperless regime.

1.6.4 Threats.

The biggest threat of this sector lies in the change in the government regulations. The profitability of this sector is affected due to increasing expenses and claims. The economic slowdown and recession in the economy can affect growth of this sector adversely. The increasing losses and need for insurance might reach a point of no return where insurance companies may be compelled to decline an insurance policy.

1.7 Political economic socio cultural and technological analysis of health insurance sector (PEST analysis)

This analysis describes a framework of macro-environmental factors used as strategic tool for understanding business position, growth potential and direction for operations.

1.7.1 Political factors.

Service tax on premium on insurance policies is being increased by the government for past few years during budget. Government monopoly in this sector came to an end after insurance companies were opened up for private participation in the year 2000. Foreign players were allowed to enter into joint venture with their Indian counterpart with 26% holding and which was further increased to 49% in the year 2015.

1.7.2 Economic factors.

The gross savings of people in India have increased significantly thereby encouraging people to buy insurance policy to cover their risks. Insurance companies are fast becoming prominent players in the security market. As these companies have huge disposable income which they are investing in the security market.

1.7.3 Socio-cultural factors.

Increase in insurance knowledge is helping people to increase their awareness about the risk to be covered through insurance. Change in lifestyle is leading to increase in risk thereby giving an opportunity to insurance companies to innovate newer products. Societal benefit is derived by transfer of risk through insurance due to improved socio-cultural environment.

1.7.4 Technological factors.

Insurance companies deals in large database and maintaining it by the application of latest technology is huge gain for this sector. Technological advancement has helped insurance companies to sale their products through their electronic portals. This has made their task of providing service to the customers easier and faster.

2. Review of literature

After opening up of the insurance industry health insurance sector has become significant both from economic and social point of view and researchers have explored and probed these aspects.

Ellis et al. (2000) reviewed a variety of health insurance systems in India. It was revealed that there is a need for a competitive environment which can only happen with the opening up of the insurance sector. Aubu (2014) conducted a comparative study on public and private companies towards marketing of health insurance policies. Study revealed that private sector services evoked better response than that of public sector because of new strategies and technologies adopted by them. Nair (2019) has made a comparative study of the satisfaction level of health insurance claimants of public and private sector general insurance companies. It was revealed that majority of the respondents had claim of reimbursement nature through third party administrator. Satisfaction with respect to settlement of claim was found relatively higher for public sector than private sector. Devadasan et al. (2004) studied community health insurance to be an important intermediate step in the evolution of an equitable health financing mechanism in Europe and Japan. It was concluded that community health insurance programmes in India offer valuable lessons for its policy makers. Kumar (2009) examined the role of insurance in financing health care in India. It was found that insurance can be an important means of mobilizing resources, providing risk protection and health insurance facilities. But for this to happen, it will require systemic reforms of this sector from the end of the Government of India. Dror et al. (2006) studied about willingness among rural and poor persons in India to pay for their health insurance. Study revealed that insured persons were more willing to pay for their insurance than the uninsured persons. Jayaprakash (2007) examined to understand the hurdles preventing the people to purchase health insurance policies in the country and methods to reduce claims ratio in this sector. Yadav and Sudhakar (2017) studied personal factors influencing purchase decision of health insurance policies in India. It was found that factors such as awareness, tax benefit, financial security and risk coverage has significant influence on purchase decision of health insurance policy holders. Thomas (2017) examined health insurance in India from the perspective of consumer insights. It was found that consumers consider various aspects before choosing a health insurer like presence of a good hospital network, policy coverage and firm with wide product choice and responsive employees. Savita (2014) studied the reason for the decline of membership of micro health insurance in Karnataka. Major reason for this decline was lack of money, lack of clarity on the scheme and intra house-hold factors. However designing the scheme according to the need of the customer is the main challenge of the micro insurance sector. Shah (2017) analysed health insurance sector post liberalization in India. It was found that significant relationship exists between premiums collected and claims paid and demographic variables impacted policy holding status of the respondents. Binny and Gupta (2017) examined opportunities and challenges of health insurance in India. These opportunities are facilitating market players to expand their business and competitiveness in the market. But there are some structural problems faced by the companies such as high claim ratio and changing need of the customers which entails companies to innovate products for the satisfaction of the customers. Chatterjee et al. (2018) have studied health insurance sector in India. The premise of this paper was to study the current situation of the health-care insurance industry in India. It was observed that India is focusing more on short-term care of its citizens and must move from short-term to long-term care. Gambhir et al. (2019) studied out-patient coverage of private sector insurance in India. It was revealed that the share of the private health insurance companies has increased considerably, despite of the fact that health insurance is not a good deal. Chauhan (2019) examined medical underwriting and rating modalities in health insurance sector. It was revealed that while underwriting a health policy one has to keep in mind the various aspects of insured including lifestyle, occupation, health condition and habits. There have been substantial studies on health insurance done in India and abroad. But there has not been any work on performance of health insurance sector based on underwriting profit or loss.

3. Research gap

After extensive review of literature it is understood that there has not been substantial study on the performance of health insurance sector taking underwriting profit or loss into consideration. In spite of high rate of growth of earned premium, this sector is unable to make underwriting profit. This is mainly because growth of premium is more than compensated by claims incurred and commission and other expenses paid. Thereby leading to growth of underwriting loss over the years across the different insurance companies covered under both public and private sector. This unique feature of negative performance of this sector has not been studied so far in India.

4. Objectives

review health insurance scenario in India; and

study the performance of health insurance sector in India with respect to underwriting profit or loss by the application of regression analysis.

5. Research methodology

The study is based on secondary data sourced from the annual reports of Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA), various journals, research articles and websites. An attempt has been made to evaluate the performance of the health insurance sector in India. Appropriate research tools have been used as per the need and type of the study. The information so collected has been classified, tabulated and analysed as per the objectives of the study.

The data is based on a time period of 12 years ranging from 2006–2007 to 2018–2019.

Secondary data analysis has been done using regression of the form: Y =   a   +   b X

The research has used SPSS statistics software package for carrying out regression and for the various graphs Microsoft Excel software has been used.

5.1 The problem statement

It is taken to be a general assumption that whenever the premium increases the profit also increases. This determines that profits are actually dependent on the premium income. Hence, whenever the premium tends to increase, the profit made also supposed to increase.

The aim of the study is to find out whether the underwriting profit of the health insurance sector is increasing or there is an underwriting loss.

The problem statement is resolved by applying regression analysis between the premium earned and underwriting profit or loss incurred. It is assumed that if the underwriting profit increases along with the premium received, then the pattern forms a normal distribution and alternate hypothesis can be accepted and if this pattern of dependability is not found then the null hypothesis will be accepted stating that there is no relation between the premium and the underwriting loss or the underwriting profit by the sector. But what is happening in this sector is the increase in premium is leading to increase in underwriting loss. So premium is negatively impacting underwriting profit which is astonishing thing to happen and is the crux of the problem of this sector.

5.1.1 Underwriting profit/loss = net premium earned – (claim settled + commission and management expenses incurred).

Underwriting profit is a term used in the insurance industry to indicate earned premium remaining after claims have been settled and commission and administrative expenses have been paid. It excludes income from investment earned on premium held by the company. It is the profit generated by the insurance company in the normal course of its business.

5.2 Data analysis

Table 1 shows that health insurance premium increased from Rs.1910 crores in 2006–2007 to Rs. 33011 crores in 2018–2019. But claims incurred together with commission and management expenses have grown from Rs. 3349 crores to Rs. 40076 crores during the same period. So the claims and management expenses incurred together is more than the health insurance premium earned in all the years of our study thereby leading to underwriting loss.

Claim incurred shown above is the outcome of the risk covered against which premium is received and commission and management expenses are incurred to obtain contract of insurance. Both these expenses are important for insurance companies to generate new business as stiff competition exists in this sector since it was opened up in the year 2000.

Figure 1 depicts the relationship between health insurance premium earned and claims and management expenses incurred by the insurance companies of the health insurance sector for the period 2006–2007 to 2018–2019.

Bar chart between premiums earned and claims and management expenses incurred show that claims and management expenses together is higher than premium earned in all the years of the study thereby leading to losses. Claims, commission and management expenses are important factors leading to the sale of insurance policies thereby earning revenue for the insurance companies in the form of premium. But proper management of claims and commission and management expenses will help this sector to improve its performance.

Table 2 provides insight into the performance of health insurance sector in India. The growth of health insurance in India has been from Rs.1909 crores for the financial year 2006–2007 to Rs. 33011crores for the financial year 2018–2019. The growth percentage is 1629% i.e. growing at an average rate of 135% per annum. Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is working out to be 27%.

From the same table, it can be inferred that health insurance sector is making underwriting loss in all the financial years. There is no specific trend can be seen, it has increased in some years and decreased in some other years. Here underwriting loss is calculated by deducting claims and commission and management expenses incurred from health insurance premium earned during these periods.

With every unit of increase in premium income the claims incurred together with commission and management expenses paid increased more than a unit. Thereby up setting the bottom line. So instead of earning profit due to better business through higher premium income, it has incurred losses.

Underwriting principles needs to be streamlined so that proper scrutiny of each policy is carried out so that performance of this sector improves.

It is seen from Figure 2 that there is stiff rise in premium earned over the years but claims and commission and management expenses incurred have also grown equally and together surpassed earned premium. So the net impact resulted in loss to this sector which can also be seen in the figure. It is also seen that loss is increasing over the years. So, increase in earnings of revenue in the form of premium is leading to increase in losses in this sector which is normally not seen in any other sectors.

But a time will come when commission and management expenses will stabilize through market forces to minimize underwriting losses. On the other hand, it will also require proper management of claims so that health insurance sector can come of this unprofitable period.

5.3 Interpretation of regression analysis

5.3.1 regression model..

Where Y = Dependent variable

X = Independent variablea = Intercept of the lineb = Slope of the line

5.3.2 Regression fit.

Here, Y is dependent variable (Underwriting Profit or Loss) which is to be predicted, X is the known independent variable (Health Insurance Premium earned) on which predictions are to be based and a and b are parameters, the value of which are to be determined ( Table 3 ). Y =   − 1028.737 − 0.226   X

5.3.3 Predictive ability of the model.

The value of R 2 = 0.866 which explains 86.6% relationship between health insurance premium earned and loss made by this sector ( Table 4 ). In other words, 13.4% of the total variation of the relationship has remained unexplained.

4.1 Regression coefficients ( Table 5 ).

H1.1 : β = 0 (No influence of Health Insurance Premium earned on Underwriting Profit or Loss made)

5.4.1.2 Alternative hypothesis.

H1.2 : β ≠ 0 (Health Insurance Premium earned influences underwriting Profit or Loss made by this sector)

The computed p -value at 95% confidence level is 0.000 which is less than 0.05. This is the confidence with which the alternative hypothesis is accepted and the null hypothesis is rejected. Thus regression equation shows that there is influence of health insurance premium earned on loss incurred by this sector.

The outcome obtained in this analysis is not what happens normally in the industry. With the increase of revenue income in the form of premium, it may lead to either profit or loss. But what is happening surprisingly here is that increase of revenue income is leading to increase of losses. So growth of premium income instead of influencing profit is actually influencing growth of losses.

6.1 Findings

The finding from the analysis is listed below:

The average growth of net premium for the health insurance has been around 135% per annum even then this sector is unable to earn underwriting profit.

The CAGR works out to around 27%. CAGR of 27% for insurance sector is considered to be very good rate of growth by any standard.

Along with high growth of premium, claims and commission and management expenses incurred in this sector have also grown substantially and together it surpassed in all the years of the study.

Thus, growth of claims and commission and management expenses incurred has more than compensated high rate of growth of health insurance premium earned. This resulted into underwriting loss that this sector is consistently making.

Astonishing findings has been higher rate of increase of premium earnings leading to higher rate of underwriting loss incurred over the years. Even though the sector is showing promise in terms of its revenue collection, but it is not enough to earn underwriting profit.

6.2 Recommendations

COVID 19 outbreak in India has led to a spike in health-care costs in the country. So, upward revision of premium charges must be considered to see bottom line improvement in this sector.

Immediate investigation of the claim is required. This will enable the insurers to curb unfair practice and dishonest means of making a claim which is rampant in this sector.

Health insurance market is not able to attract younger generation of the society. So entry age-based pricing might attract this group of customers. An individual insured at the age 30 and after 10 years of continuous coverage the premium will be less than the other individual buying a policy at the age of 40 for the first time.

6.3 Limitations and scope of future studies

The analysis of performance of health insurance sector in India taking underwriting profit into consideration is the only study of its kind in this sector. As a result, adequate literature on the subject was not available.

Health insurance and health care are part of medical care industry and are inter dependent with each other. So performance of health insurance sector can be better understood by taking health-care industry into consideration which is beyond the scope of the study.

This sector is consistently incurring losses. So, new ideas need to be incorporated to reduce losses if not making profits.

Opportunity of the insurance companies in this sector lies in establishing innovative product, services and distribution channels. So, continuous modification by the application of research is required to be undertaken.

Health insurance sector will take a massive hit, as tax benefit is going to be optional from this financial year. This can be a subject of study for the future.

6.4 Conclusion

This sector is prone to claims and its bottom line is always under tremendous pressure. In recent times, IRDA has taken bold step by increasing the premium rate of health insurance products. This will help in the growth of this sector.

With better technological expertise coming in from the foreign partners and involvement by the IRDA the health insurance sector in India must turn around and start to earn profit.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge for the health insurance industry on various fronts at the same time it provides an opportunity to the insurers to fetch in new customers.

The main reason for high commission and management expense being cut-throat competition brought in after opening up of the insurance sector in the year 2000. So, new companies are offering higher incentives to the agents and brokers to penetrate into the market. This trend needs to be arrested as indirectly it is affecting profitability of this sector.

The study will richly contribute to the existing literature and help insurance companies to know about their performance and take necessary measures to rectify the situation.

essay on health sector in india

Chart on health insurance premium earned and claims and management expenses paid

essay on health sector in india

Chart on performance of health insurance sector in India

Data showing health insurance premium earned and claims and management expenses paid

. Dependent variable: Underwriting profit or loss;

. Predictors: (Constant), Health insurance premium earned

Aubu , R. ( 2014 ), “ Marketing of health insurance policies: a comparative study on public and private insurance companies in Chennai city ”, UGC Thesis, Shodgganga.inflibnet.ac.in .

Chatterjee , S. , Giri , A. and Bandyopadhyay , S.N. ( 2018 ), “ Health insurance sector in India: a study ”, Tech Vistas , Vol. 1 , pp. 105 - 115 .

Chauhan , V. ( 2019 ), “ Medical underwriting and rating modalities in health insurance ”, The Journal of Inssurance Institute of India , Vol. VI , pp. 14 - 18 .

Devadasan , N. , Ranson , K. , Damme , W.V. and Criel , B. ( 2004 ), “ Community health insurance in India: an overview ”, Health Policy , Vol. 29 No. 2 , pp. 133 - 172 .

Dror , D.M. , Radermacher , R. and Koren , R. ( 2006 ), “ Willingness to pay for health insurance among rural and poor persons: Field evidence form seven micro health insurance units in India ”, Health Policy , pp. 1 - 16 .

Ellis , R.P. , Alam , M. and Gupta , I. ( 2000 ), “ Health insurance in India: Prognosis and prospectus ”, Economic and Political Weekly , Vol. 35 No. 4 , pp. 207 - 217 .

Gambhir , R.S. , Malhi , R. , Khosla , S. , Singh , R. , Bhardwaj , A. and Kumar , M. ( 2019 ), “ Out-patient coverage: Private sector insurance in India ”, Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care , Vol. 8 No. 3 , pp. 788 - 792 .

Gupta , D. and Gupta , M.B. ( 2017 ), “ Health insurance in India-Opportunities and challenges ”, International Journal of Latest Technology in Engineering, Management and Applied Science , Vol. 6 , pp. 36 - 43 .

Hand book on India Insurance Statistics revisited ( 2020 ), “ Insurance regulatory and development authority website ”, available at: www.irda.gov.in ( accessed 2 July 2020 ).

Jayaprakash , S. ( 2007 ), “ An explorative study on health insurance industry in India ”, UGC Thesis, Shodgganga.inflibnet.ac.in .

Kumar , A. ( 2009 ), “ Health insurance in India: is it the way forward? ”, World Health Statistics (WHO) , pp. 1 - 25 .

Nair , S. ( 2019 ), “ A comparative study of the satisfaction level of health insurance claimants of public and private sector general insurance companies ”, The Journal of Insurance Institute of India) , Vol. VI , pp. 33 - 42 .

Savita ( 2014 ), “ A qualitative analysis of declining membership in micro health insurance in Karmataka ”, SIES Journal of Management , Vol. 10 , pp. 12 - 21 .

Shah , A.Y.C. ( 2017 ), “ Analysis of health insurance sector post liberalisation in India ”, UGC Thesis, Shodgganga.inflibnet.ac.in .

Thomas , K.T. ( 2017 ), “ Health insurance in India: a study on consumer insight ”, IRDAI Journal , Vol. XV , pp. 25 - 31 .

Yadav , S.C. and Sudhakar , A. ( 2017 ), “ Personal factors influencing purchase decision making: a study of health insurance sector in India ”, BIMAQUEST , Vol. 17 , pp. 48 - 59 .

Further reading

Beri , G.C. ( 2010 ), Marketing Research , TATA McGraw Hill Education Private , New Delhi, ND .

Dutta , M.M. and Mitra , G. ( 2017 ), “ Performance of Indian automobile insurance sector ”, KINDLER , Vol. 17 , pp. 160 - 168 .

Majumdar , P.I. and Diwan , M.G. ( 2001 ), Principals of Insurance , Insurance Institute of India , Mumbai, MM .

Pai , V.A. and Diwan , M.G. ( 2001 ), “ Practice of general insurance ”, Insurance Institute of India , Mumbai, MM .

Shahi , A.K. and Gill , H.S. ( 2013 ), “ Origin, growth, pattern and trends: a study of Indian health insurance sector ”, IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science , Vol. 12 , pp. 1 - 9 .

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Health Care Sector in India

The size of Indian Healthcare sector is expected to reach $ 280 billion by 2020 as per some reports.  Healthcare industry in India comprises hospitals, medical tourism, health insurance, medical equipment, telemedicine, outsourcing, clinical trials, medical devices.

  • The multiple reasons for growth are increased diseases due to lifestyles, rising income, greater health awareness, improved access to insurance.
  • As per 2016 report India had reduced the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) by around 26% since 2013.
  • The hospital industry is expected to reach approximately $ 132 billion by 2022.
  • 74% of expenditure in the healthcare sector comes from Private sector.
  • Medical tourism segment in India is growing at the rate of 18% and it is expected to reach $ 9 billion by 2020.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam .

Central Government Schemes – Healthcare Sector in India

Health is a state subject, the Central Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments in delivery of health services through various schemes for primary, secondary, and tertiary care.

  • By 2025, the Government of India is planning to increase the expenditure on Health care to 2.5% of the GDP.
  • In the Union Budget 2020-21, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was allocated a budget of more than Rs 65,000 crores. 
  • In Budget 2020-21, Government of India has approved the extension of National Health Mission with an allocated budget of around Rs 34,000 crores.
  • The National Nutrition Mission has set an objective of reducing the under nutrition, problems of stunting by 2%
  • The Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) – This is the largest health care program funded by the Government. 
  • In the Union Budget 2020-21, PMJAY was allocated a budget of more than Rs 6400 crores.
  • As of Nov 2019, more than 63 lakh people have received free treatment under Ayushman Bharat – PMJAY.
  • In the Union Budget 2020-21, Government of India allocated Rs 3,000 crores for Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Surakhsa Yojana (PMSSY).

Similar Articles which an IAS Aspirant should read to holistically approach the topic,  Health Care Sector in India:

Ayushman Bharat

  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme for underprivileged families. It can potentially cover around 50 crore beneficiaries.
  • It provides coverage of up to Rs 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) will be established at the apex stage,chaired by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The benefits of the scheme are portable throughout the country and a beneficiary covered by the scheme will be allowed to receive cashless benefits from any public/private hospital throughout the country.

Candidates can read in detail on   Ayushman Bharat  on the linked page.

Health Care Sector in India – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2023 .

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Essay on Health Care in India

December 16, 2017 by Study Mentor Leave a Comment

Health is wealth . It is more important than the wealth we have. Only when we have a proper health we will able to get the necessary wealth in our life. If we do not have a proper health, whatever wealth we have also goes into waste. We will not be able to use even the available wealth without a proper health.

This is the reason one should take important care of their health. We should focus more on our health. Then, automatically we will be able to work hard and earn according to the work we have been able to do. Thus, health is very important in our life.

First, people should learn to take care of their health and then focus on other areas of life. But we taking care of ourselves alone does not matter. We should have the facilities in order to take proper care of our health. We should have easy access to all the health facilities.

In order for people to maintain a proper health, they should have proper health care systems. Only then people will be able to take care of their health and get treatment when they are suffering from any sort of sickness.

But do we have access to proper health care. Many of us have easy access to the health care. But for those who have problem to access these health care ultimately lose their life.

Table of Contents

What do you mean by health care?

Health care means the process or way in which one is taking different procedures or medical measures to make a person’s health better. With proper health care a person’s health can become better. This will include dong the right treatment, taking medicine and altering one’s own life habits.

A proper health care will help to save so many people’s lives. These days because of unhealthy lifestyle people are getting prone to many sickness and diseases. Due to these reasons, treatment is on the light. But when a person does not get the right treatment there are chances of losing the life.

Health care system should be improved and regularly updated. In the previous years, very outdated machines and treatments were used. They are not still used in the present-day time because diseases these days have taken another turn compared to before. So obviously the treatment should also be changed.

There should be proper health care system so that everyone gets the treatment when needed. They will not have to run helter skelter when they need the treatment in emergency. There are still many places all over the world where there are no health care systems and people have lost their lives.

Why is health care important?

In order to remain healthy and be free or get treated from different sickness and diseases one needs to have access to health care. With time, new diseases are coming into action. More people are getting ill every single day of the life. In order to get diagnosed and treated, health care is needed for the people.

Health Care essay

If people will have access to health care and more hospitals or health care systems are made, there will be growth in the medical sector.

Moreover, the medical sector contributes a lot to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the country. Proper health care will help people to be free from sickness and their lives will be saved.

If the number of lives saved by proper treatment is increased, the death rate will start reducing. The production of the country will increase which will further improve the economy.

Health Care in India

The number of health care systems in India has increased from the past years. Facilities have also improved. More primary health centers have been opened in the rural areas as well. In the urban areas the hospitals have also increased with many advanced facilities. Many medical colleges have also been opened so that there are many aspiring doctors to treat the sick people.

We can see medical colleges and hospitals almost everywhere. But just opening medical colleges and hospitals alone is not enough. There should be proper treatment in the health care centers and hospitals. The doctors and staff should be dedicated to treat the people. They should not only focus on their benefit. In many hospitals we see that the doctors come late and leave early from their work.

They take leave very often. This does not happen. This will not only lead to reduction in the growth of the medical sector but also many people will be left untreated. It is also seen that in many places the staff are not good. They do not take proper care of the patients.

They behave rudely with the patients and their family members. No matter how many new centers and hospitals are made, there are still many people who do not get treatment. They are left untreated and ultimately they lose their life.

Another reason why everyone is not able to get proper treatment is because of high population. Fertility rate is increasing every year and every single day someone gets sick. As there are too many people getting sick there is not enough place in the centers and hospital to diagnose and treat everyone.

In private hospitals there will be rush because everything is according to the numbers and there is limitation. But one should go and visit the government hospitals and centers.

There is a huge rush everywhere. There is not even a single proper place to get fresh air. There almost same things are used for every patient. Cleanliness is not maintained properly. Every place is crowded like a fish market. Some of the staff members are very lazy to work while others are strict for everything.

Personal experience on health care

It was the month of March, 2007 I had got abscess on my chest. It could not be self treated so I visited a known doctor in a private hospital. The doctor examined the abscess and told us that operation would have to be done that day. So, I was admitted in the hospital.

I was kept in the female common ward till the operation time. I was given saline water till my operation was started and I was not allowed to eat anything. As I was in the common ward, too many patients were admitted there. The air smelled so foul that I could not even breathe properly. My father came to visit me. As I was in the common ward, he could see me every time he wanted.

So, they asked the staff to shift me to a private room. I realized the private rooms were cleaner than the common wards. Also the staff was more dedicated and caring for the private room patients. Some of them used to take their own sweet to finish their work. Well, this should not be done. They should not be bias to anyone. Soon, my operation time came and I was taken to the operation room.

After that I do not remember anything about the room. I only realized after I was being shifted to my room. I was kept in the hospital for one week. In this week I used to walk around the hospital when I used to get fed up resting in the room. I realized the hospital needs more doctors and staff.

There was no discipline maintained in the hospital. The staff should be taking care of all patients. One day some other nurse came to give me an injection. She gave me injection in such a way that she is giving it to some non living thing. It was very painful.

I did not like to see such conditions of the hospital. I just wished to be discharged from the hospital and go back home soon. After I went back home, I had to go to the hospital once a week to change the dressing in the operated area. The nurses who would come to change my dressing used to behave rudely with me.

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