The healthcare sector in India is growing at a fascinating pace. The health sector in India provides a quality service for less than half the price of developed west..

This sector is expected to achieve highest growth this year. As per the data available until 2007, the number of patients visiting India for medical treatment has risen from 10,000 in 2000 to about 100,000 in 2005 with an annual growth rate of 30 percent; India is already moving closer to Singapore, an established Medicare hub that attracts 150,000 medical tourists a year.

The healthcare industry employs nearly four million people, making it one of the largest service sectors in the economy. According to, joint study by the Confederation of Indian Industry and McKinsey shows:

  • Medical Healthcare sector currently pegged at US$ 350 million, has the potential to grow into a US$ 2 billion industry by 2012.
  • Healthcare spending in the country will double over the next 10 years. Private healthcare will form a large chunk of this spending, rising from Rs 690 billion (US$ 14.8 billion) to Rs. 1,560 billion (US$ 33.6 billion) in 2012. This figure could rise by an additional Rs. 390 billion (US$ 8.4 billion) if health insurance cover is available to the rich and the middle class.
  • The voluntary health insurance market, which is estimated at Rs. 4 billion (US$ 86.3 million) currently, is growing fast. Industry estimates put the figure at Rs 130 billion (US$ 2.8 billion) by 2005.
  • With the expected increase in the pharmaceutical market, the total healthcare market could rise from Rs 1,030 billion (US$ 22.2 billion) currently (5.2 per cent of GDP) to Rs 2,320 billion (US$ 50 billion)-Rs 3,200 billion (US$ 69 billion) (6.2-8.5 per cent of GDP) by 2012.

Not only the cost advantages but also the high success ratio of medical treatments conducted in India made it a favourable medical destination for international patients as well as NRIs. National Health Services of UK has indicated that India is a favoured destination for surgeries. E.g., Delhi-based Escorts Hospital accredited with British Standards Institute.

Planning Commission of India released a ‘comparative report’ regarding medical expenses of various countries. Data are shown below:

  • A heart bypass surgery would cost a patient $6,000 in India, the same surgery would cost the person $7,894 in Thailand, $10,417 in Singapore, $23,938 in the US and $19,700 in Britain.
  • A heart valve replacement surgery would cost patients $10,000 in Thailand, $12,500 in Singapore, $200,000 in the US and $90,000 in Britain. In India, it would cost just $8,000. While a bone marrow transplant would cost $30,000 in India, doctors in US would charge anywhere between $250,000-400,000 while those in UK would charge $150,000. A cosmetic surgery would cost $3,500 in Thailand, $20,000 in the US and $10,000 in Britain. But in India, it costs only $2,000.
  • A spinal fusion would cost $62,000 in the US, $5,500 in India, $7,000 in Thailand and $9,000 in Singapore.

However, Indian Medical Sector requires huge investment by Government as well as private sector, which will make it truly international. And 100 percent investment is permitted for all health sector related services under the automatic route of the RBI.

Investment Opportunities:

  • Health Insurance
  • Medical Tourism
  • Hospital Management
  • Curative and Preventive Services
  • Infrastructure Facilities like Hospitals and Diagnostic Centre
  • Training Manpower (doctors, nurses, technicians etc.)
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