Bringing Indian healthcare up to global standards: Suneeta Reddy tells how much investment is needed

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Published: October 25, 2019 5:09 PM

While Narendra Modi government introduced schemes like Ayushman Bharat to make healthcare accessible for all, India will need to make a whopping Rs 80,000 crore investment to bring Indian healthcare on par with the global standards.

medical tourism, indian healthcareHealthcare is one of the booming industries in India considering low treatment costs available in the country as compared to many other nations.

While Narendra Modi government introduced schemes like Ayushman Bharat to make healthcare accessible for all, India still needs to make massive investments in ramping up capacities to bring Indian healthcare on par with the global standards. India needs to spend a whopping Rs 80,000 crore in building more hospitals and other health facilities. “The fundamental demand for healthcare is huge. But we have 1.3 beds for every 1,000, which is very low by world standards. It requires an investment of Rs 40,000 crore to take it to two beds per 1,000,” Suneeta Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals, said in a recent interview with Financial Express Online. As of now, the global standards for bed density is three beds per 1,000 people.

Watch | Insurance is an important piece of India’s healthcare puzzle: Suneeta Reddy INTERVIEW

Healthcare is one of the booming industries in India considering low treatment costs available in the country as compared to many other nations. In fact, medical tourism in India has more than doubled in a span of just three years to 2017, according to Confederation of Indian Industry. While the healthcare cost has shot up in many advanced economies, India is a unique case where despite the passage of time, India has managed to keep the treatment cost level below than many other countries. “We are at the one-tenth of the US costs, one-half of Thailand and one-third of Singapore. We are delivering world class treatment at a fraction of the cost,” Suneeta Reddy said.

Also Read: Medical tourism brings more cash to exchequer, arrivals more than double in three years

Within the country as well, there is a rising number of people who can afford good healthcare, providing a good opportunity for the ramping up of the sector. “It is a huge opportunity for India because the way India is going, it is going to be 140 million people in the middle class itself who can afford good healthcare. It is an opportunity to invest in the healthcare sector,” Suneeta Reddy said. India has managed to keep treatment costs at about the same price as was 25 years ago, she added.

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