Ayushman Bharat, the government’s flagship health protection scheme which will be launched in September, can trigger a tectonic shift in India’s healthcare sector.
In a country where 80% of the 1.3 billion population pays for treatment out of their pockets, Ayushman Bharat promises access to quality healthcare as well as financing for over 500 million people. Needless to say, the inclusion of such a large number of people - through assured funding and financing - into the mainstream healthcare sector presents immense opportunities for all stakeholders across the supply chain.
Industry estimates suggest that the new scheme will bring in demand worth more than Rs 50,000 crore a year. Also, a lot of activity will be centered around tier II and tier III cities. Such huge potential for growth naturally makes the sector extremely attractive for investors including private equity and venture capital firms, which incidentally had pumped more than $1.3 billion into pharma & healthcare equipment and services in 2017. This year, the sector has already received investments in excess of $800 million.
Ayushman Bharat is also expected to speed up consolidation among both the hospital as well as diagnostics streams as big players will most likely want to tap the new opportunity in smaller cities - which were not lucrative enough until now – by snapping up smaller hospitals, specialty clinics & nursing homes, diagnostics services providers, medical devices, et al. And this, again, signifies a huge opportunity for both healthcare entrepreneurs as well as investors.
The new scheme comes at a time when patient awareness and healthcare consumerism is on the rise, the government is seeking better control over the quality as well as the pricing of medicines, devices and services, consolidation in the hospitals and diagnostics segments is underway and global healthcare service providers are setting foot into the market.
Add to this the increasing adoption of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning and 3D printing at the end of service providers and the onset of mobile health services to make healthcare more efficient and affordable.
It is against this dynamic backdrop that News Corp VCCircle is organising the 10th edition of its annual Healthcare Investment Summit where industry leaders, legacy and new-age entrepreneurs, and leading PE & VC investors will gather to deliberate upon the right strategies to seize the opportunities in the Indian healthcare market.