India Business & Trade - September, 2022

India is at the cusp of a massive upscaling of its healthcare services exports. IBT analyses the critical action points for stakeholders to capitalize on this unique window of opportunity.

The pandemic exposed critical deficiencies that Indian healthcare needs to address, especially with lack of infrastructure and equipment – beds, medical staff, PPEs, oxygen, diagnostic kits, etc – and healthcare staff. As cases rose exponentially, even hospitals in tier 1 cities struggled to cope, especially in the second wave.

But these constraints alone do not define the Indian healthcare sector. When you look at India’s impressive rise in medical tourism, one could argue that the glass is actually half full. India has a number of state-of-the-art healthcare facilities with demonstrated capability for simple to complex medical procedures and excellent post-operative care at highly economical prices. Indian doctors and healthcare workers are recognized as being among the best in the world. The country has 37 Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals and 513 hospitals accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH). Apart from this, India has distinct advantages with AYUSH and wellness therapies, which have been gaining recognition over the years.

The health and wellness sector has huge potential & scalability to grow its share in India’s services exports across modes. The country is projected to create 1 million health professionals every year, which can be juxtaposed with a projected global shortage of 12.9 million professionals by 2035. This cover story discusses key strategies to help realise this vision.

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