Earlier this month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi renewed his commitment to making Indian healthcare world-class. In a series of messages on Twitter, PM Modi celebrated World Health Day: “The Government of India is working tirelessly to enhance India’s health infrastructure. The focus is on ensuring good quality and affordable healthcare for our citizens. It makes every Indian proud that our nation is home to the biggest healthcare scheme in the world, Ayushman Bharat […] Our focus on affordable healthcare has ensured significant savings for the poor and middle class. At the same time, we are strengthening our Ayush network to further increase overall well-being.”
The prime minister is referring to Ayushman Bharat, a public health insurance fund program backed by the Indian government to provide healthcare to millions of people who cannot afford it. The concept is robust, involving the creation of 150,000 government-supported “health and wellness centers” that feature a wide range of health services, including maternal health, immunization services, telemedicine resources, yoga and holistic wellness treatments. -being, health education and drug dispensaries. . The mission behind the initiative is to provide Indians with a comprehensive safety net for essential services and general preventive care. Undoubtedly, running this system will cost the government billions of dollars; however, most analysts believe this to be a worthwhile investment for the country.
In fact, Indian healthcare has some of the best results in the world, while the money spent per patient is relatively conservative. A report published by the Harvard School of Public Health found that India spends approximately $40 per person annually on healthcare, while the United States spends approximately $8,500. A common fallacy in healthcare is to confuse money spent with results: it is assumed that the more you spend, the better the results. However, Indian health outcomes were found to be comparable, if not better, than their contemporaries, although their per-patient expenditure was lower. In fact, this fallacy regarding healthcare spending has been proven time and time again: The Commonwealth Fund points out that “the US spends more on healthcare as a share of the economy – nearly double the OECD average [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] country – still has the lowest life expectancy and the highest suicide rates among the 11 nations.”
India has continued to be a global beacon when it comes to health.
Historically speaking, India has always been the world epicenter of pharmaceuticals. I’ve written before about how the country has a prolific pharmaceutical industry, which is responsible for producing most of the world’s vaccines and medicines. Furthermore, India’s infrastructure for research, development and production of medicines is second to none, making it a highly sought after investment market for global life science companies.
In recent years, India has also significantly increased its public health efforts. Prime Minister Modi has been lauded globally for his swift and decisive actions during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, a period in which he mobilized top talent in government and health infrastructure to adopt the appropriate measures and means to reduce as much as possible the crisis. spread of infection. Furthermore, India was one of the first countries with a robust vaccination campaign against Covid-19 and was also one of the first to share its vaccines with other countries. In fact, this initiative will be etched in the history books for decades to come.
Finally, Indian innovation in the healthcare sector is undoubtedly at its peak. For example, the Indian telehealth market is estimated to have an astonishing CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of almost 36.9%, indicating interest and investment in this sector. The reality is that India has a significant shortage of doctors — a problem Prime Minister Modi recently tried to solve by opening new state-of-the-art medical schools across the country, many of which are at least partially government-funded. However, the Indian government is simultaneously investing in telemedicine services to help alleviate some of the dire shortages facing rural areas of the country. Renowned healthcare organizations like Apollo and robust companies like Tata are leading this front, setting an example for other industry titans to follow.
Certainly, India has come a long way in the last decade in terms of its healthcare system. As it continually strives to provide its people with world-class infrastructure and services, the Indian healthcare system is sure to be one to watch and learn from for decades to come.