Editorial

Poised for Healthy Growth

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Ravi-GuptaOne of the sectors witnessing bursting growth in recent times is healthcare. Driven by rising population, increasing income levels, escalating lifestyle-related health issues, improving health insurance penetration and growing private investment, healthcare sector promises to touch more highs in the days ahead.

Studies suggest the Indian healthcare industry is well on its way to touch a CAGR of 15 percent to hit USD 250 billion by 2020, from USD 58.2 billion in 2014. In addition, clearance to raise the FDI limit in the insurance sector to 49 percent by the Government is expected to help both the patients and the industry.

Also adding to the growth of healthcare sector is blooming of the medical tourism segment, which has seen generous private sector investments, taking the country a step closer to becoming a global healthcare hub. And, blessed with natural resources, Kerala Gods Own Country has a decisive edge in medical tourism over the rest of India.

However, given the higher purchasing power of urban dwellers, almost 70 percent of the healthcare infrastructure is located in the top 20 cities of India. As the per-capita urban-rural divide looks imminent to stay in the foreseeable future, innovations in healthcare products and delivery methods seem the way forward to reach out to the medically-excluded masses. Fast-catching up terms like e-healthcare, m-healthcare and telemedicine perhaps point in the same direction. Increasing rural mobile phone penetration and fast-spreading Internet network are already forecast to play a crucial role in this regard.

In keeping with the global trend, the government has also set out on e-health services course, aimed at boosting health awareness among the rural masses. e-health services include helping people contact and interact with good doctors, buying medicines and taking . Growing at a healthy rate, the e-health services are expected to start contributing about 2 percent in the overall healthcare sector soon.

To showcase the immense potential and abundant opportunities in the sector, the second-largest employer in the service sector, the 10th eINDIA 2014 Summit (http://eindia.eletsonline.com/2014/) in Kovalam Kerala (14-16 November), will have a dedicated health track. Key leaders from the Centre, State governments, Industry and Academia will gather in the august presence of Kerala Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy, and discuss ways and means to facilitate an unhindered growth of the healthcare sector.

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