India’s healthcare sector is expected to be U.S. $ 280 billion in size by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent, but it is in “dire need” of right policy framework and infrastructure push, says a FICCI-KPMG report. With the healthcare industry seeing a robust growth trajectory, workforce in the sector is expected to be at 7.4 million in 2022, said the report — ‘Healthcare: The Neglected GDP Driver’.
The sector, which was at U.S. $ 73.92 billion in 2011, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16 percent to U.S. $ 280 billion in 2020, it said. The report added however that it was high time the country realised the significance of healthcare as an economic development opportunity at national and state levels.
“With the increasing disease burden, the healthcare sector in the country is in dire need to get the right policy framework and infrastructure impetus. Granting infrastructure status may not only help the sector receive investments, but also bring down the cost of healthcare delivery,” it said. The report further said healthcare is traditionally seen as a social sector in India, with less government focus and low budget allocation.
“India currently spends cumulatively 4.2 percent of its GDP on healthcare, with just 1 percent being contributed by the public sector, amongst the lowest globally,” it added. As per the report the healthcare sector impacts the country’s GDP through various routes. It is also one of the largest sectors in India in terms of employment generation. If appropriate investments are made in areas, such as healthcare delivery and education, they are expected to further increase the employment rate and positively impact the country’s GDP.
Commenting on the need to increase investment in the sector, KPMG in India Government & Healthcare Partner and Head Nilaya Varma said: “…investment in healthcare propels overall economic growth and is more than just social expenditure in India. Improvements in the health of citizens contributes to overall economic prosperity of the nation.” The Indian healthcare workforce is expected to double to 7.4 million in 2022 from 3.6 million in 2013, the report said.
The share of healthcare FDI has almost doubled since 2011, highlighting the growing interest of foreign players in the sector, it added. “Investment opportunities in the Indian healthcare sector have increased significantly and the sector is expected to be one of the most attractive investment targets for private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) companies,” the report said.