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India 2020: How Govt's initiatives will shape up the healthcare narrative

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New Delhi, Dec 08: India's healthcare has become one of the largest sectors - both in terms of revenue and employment. Healthcare sector not merely medical care but also covers all aspects of pro-preventive care too. It consists of companies that provide hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment.

Thanks to the several initiatives taken by the incumbent government in recent years, today the healthcare sector in India is growing at a brisk pace due to its vast coverage, services and increasing expenditure by public and private players.

India 2020: How Govts initiatives will shape up the healthcare narrative

The Indian healthcare industry is catapulting towards becoming a nation with high-end diagnostic services and tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic facilities for the people living in our country.

The government has taken several initiatives such as 100 per cent FDI for the pharma sector, greenfield investment opportunity, flagship schemes such as Ayushman Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana and setting up of R&D centres to give a boost to the sector.

In 2017, the healthcare sector was the fourth-largest employer, employing 3,19,780 people. The sector is expected to generate 40 million jobs by 2020.

However, there is significant scope for enhancing healthcare services since the percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is rising. The government's expenditure on the health sector has also grown to 1.4 per cent in FY18E from 1.2 per cent in FY14.

Road Ahead:

India's healthcare sector is a land full of opportunities for players in the medical devices industry. As per the recent estimates from Ernst & Young, the hospital industry in India has 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 per cent.

This will be propelled by various products in the health and wellness space, including fitness, prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), adopting healthy lifestyles and investing in aesthetic programmes and procedures.

The adoption of Artificial intelligence (AI) has become the latest trend and has become more advanced these days in the health sector. Hospitals are already seeing the use of cutting edge technology in cancer care. In 2020, the health sector will also see a wider use of AI.

The key area of focus in the coming year will also be genetics. Immunotherapy will enhance the quality of care with the potential to significantly extend survival for cancer patients with minimal side effects.

Changing climate is also resulting in alterations in temperature, precipitation and humidity, which in turn, is increasing the suitability for transmission of various infectious diseases, particularly mosquito-borne infections like dengue, malaria and chikungunya.

According to reports, Children will be among the most to suffer from the rise in infectious diseases, with climatic suitability for the Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera rising 3 per cent a year in India since the early 1980s.

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