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From Meager to Mighty: India Holds 60% of Global Vaccine Production From the bustling urban hospitals in metropolitan cities to the rural health clinics in remote villages, India's healthcare system is a study in contrasts. FICCI-EY report – 'Decoding India's Healthcare Landscape' notes the leaps and bounds India has taken in the context of the healthcare sector.

By Entrepreneur Staff

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India's healthcare landscape is a complex tapestry, woven with the threads of traditional practices and modern medicine.

From the bustling urban hospitals in metropolitan cities to the rural health clinics in remote villages, India's healthcare system is a study in contrasts. FICCI-EY report – 'Decoding India's Healthcare Landscape' notes the leaps and bounds India has taken in the context of the healthcare sector.

Financing Healthcare

The expenditure on healthcare in 2003-04 was just a meager 0.9 per cent of the total GDP of India, highlighting the limited allocation of resources to the health sector during that period. Over the years, recognizing the critical importance of health for national development, this figure gradually increased. By 2014-15, the expenditure had reached 1.2 per cent of GDP, marking a slow but steady rise. This upward trend continued, and by 2022-23, there was a significant jump to 2.1 per cent of GDP. This increase reflects a growing commitment from the government to improve healthcare services and infrastructure, aiming to provide better medical care to the population and reduce the disease burden.

Examining the health infrastructure, the FICCI-EY report highlights that the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for medical colleges has been 5.9 per cent since 2014. This growth rate signifies a concerted effort to expand medical education and produce a larger cadre of qualified healthcare professionals. Over the past two decades, the number of medical colleges has tripled, showcasing a substantial expansion in medical education facilities. This growth is crucial for addressing the shortage of healthcare professionals and ensuring that the burgeoning population has access to quality medical education and training.

Hospital capacity has seen a considerable expansion as well, with an 80.85 per cent increase since 2005. In 2005, there were 4,70,000 hospital beds, and by 2021, this number had risen to 8,50,000, reflecting substantial improvements in healthcare infrastructure and service capacity. The increase in hospital beds is a crucial step towards meeting the growing healthcare demands of the population. This expansion has been supported by both public and private sector investments, aiming to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. The development of multi-specialty hospitals, tertiary care centers, and the enhancement of existing healthcare facilities have all contributed to this growth, ensuring that more patients receive timely and effective medical care.

No infrastructure is complete without a robust workforce. The number of registered allopathic doctors in 2005 stood at 6,60,801. By 2022, this number had surged to 13,08,009, marking a 97.94 per cent increase. This significant rise underscores the growing capacity of the medical workforce to meet the healthcare needs of the population. The increase in the number of doctors is a direct result of improved medical education infrastructure and policies aimed at retaining talent within the country. Additionally, various initiatives to enhance the skills of healthcare professionals, such as Continuous Medical Education (CME) programs, have contributed to this positive trend.

The pharmaceutical industry in India is also experiencing significant growth. By 2030, the market size is projected to reach US$130 billion. India's pharmaceutical sector has become a global powerhouse, known for its robust production capabilities and cost-effective generic medicines. India currently holds an impressive 60 per cent share of global vaccine production and pharma exports are three times higher than its import levels, indicating the country's dominant role in the global pharmaceutical sector. The industry's growth is driven by a combination of factors, including a large pool of skilled scientists and engineers, substantial investments in research and development, and a favorable regulatory environment. India's capacity to produce affordable vaccines and medicines has positioned it as a key player in the global health landscape, contributing significantly to public health worldwide.

Regarding the Out-of-Pocket Expenditure (OOPE), there has been a substantial decline from 64.2 per cent in 2013-14 to 48.2 per cent in 2018-19. This reduction is a positive indicator of increased accessibility and affordability of healthcare services for the Indian populace. The decrease in OOPE suggests that more people are benefiting from government-funded health programs and insurance schemes, which have been introduced to alleviate the financial burden on families. Programs such as the Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) have played a significant role in this transformation, providing financial protection and enabling access to essential health services for millions of poor and vulnerable families.

With the advent of digital health initiatives, India's healthcare system has made significant strides forward. The integration of new technologies and the emergence of innovative startups are transforming the healthcare landscape. Telemedicine, electronic health records (EHRs), and mobile health applications are becoming increasingly prevalent, making healthcare more accessible and efficient. Initiatives like the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) aim to create a robust digital health ecosystem, facilitating seamless access to health data and services.

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


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