Indian healthcare industry in 2018 & forecast for 2019

Mr Ayush Mishra, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tattvan E-Clinics shares his opinion on the healthcare sector scenario during the year 2018 and the way forward in 2019


In recent years, the healthcare industry in India has grown exponentially. It has been growing at a rapid pace owing to the increased investment and expenditure from public as well as private investors. The significant feature of the Indian healthcare sector in 2018 was increased investment in healthcare industry from the private sector. The emergence of reputed global players investing through FDI played a pivotal role in the growth of the healthcare sector.

At present, the rising incidences of lifestyle diseases, the rising demand for affordable healthcare, the emergence of technologies like telemedicine, and the increased role of government in healthcare investment space are the major driving factors in Indian healthcare industry.

Indian government has remained very active with its approach towards the development of healthcare sector. According to a report of NITI Aayog, the Indian government will increase public expenditure on healthcare from 1.1% to 2.5% GDP in the next four years and to 5% in the following 5 years. This shows that the nation is set on the path of progressive healthcare for every individual.

Healthcare Sector in 2018

Healthcare access and quality in India has almost been similar to the last year with a little improvement in 2018. The Indian government has remained focused on providing better facilities in the healthcare sector. Government of India implemented ‘Ayushman Bharat National Health protection Mission’ in August 2018. The AB-NHPS will have a defined benefit cover of Rs 5,00,000 per family (on a family floater basis) per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

The Government of India also launched other schemes like ‘Mission Indradhanush’ with an aim to improve the coverage of immunization in the country by achieving at least 90 percent immunization coverage by in India by December 2018.

From the business point of view, 2018 was an iconic year for Indian healthcare sector. A number of established multispecialty hospitals and healthcare groups were taken over by industry giants. With a vast array of opportunities available and lenient FDI policies, global players from other nations have also started investing in Indian healthcare.

With the digital revolution going on within the country, Telemedicine has also evolved in Indian healthcare space. Indian Government has shown a great interest in the development of telemedicine and started investing in this segment to provide better healthcare facilities in rural India as well.

Private business sphere is also witnessing paradigm shifts where India’s leading Industries have also poured liquidity in the field of telemedicine. This trend is expected to continue as several other players are also coming to the forefront.

Trends in Healthcare Industry For 2019

Moving forward, single specialty hospital and clinics are growing rapidly in India and this is going to change the facade of the underpenetrated healthcare sector. Initially, healthcare categories such as eye care, dental care were popular in the industry. But with the success of the ‘Bouquet hospital’ model now, other categories like fertility, oncology and maternity are making their way up into this sector. Emerging startups and large players are betting big on the national healthcare to generate profit in this growing boom.

Another trend of ‘Budget Hospitals’ which has already become popular in the demographics of South India will headline the healthcare sector in 2019. In India, majority of population belongs to middle and lower economic strata. With the growing demand for good medical facilities at affordable prices, ‘Budget Hospitals’ will gain popularity in the country.

In 2019, India will emerge as one of the most preferred healthcare destinations among foreigners. Especially, medical tourism from the Sub-Saharan countries is expected to grow by nearly 20%. With competitive medical facilities being available in India compared to western countries, India’s medical tourism is expected to grow further in the upcoming year.

While Malaysia and Singapore already have a developed healthcare infrastructure, the healthcare sector of most of the South-East Asian countries is growing at a rapid pace. In 2019, the trend is set to continue and it is expected to see further innovations in the healthcare industry.

About author: Mr Ayush Mishra, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tattvan E-Clinics, a startup that connect doctors from world-class hospitals to patients in remote locations.