The East Indian region is plagued with almost similar ailments as the entire healthcare sector in the country. With quality medical services being confined to the urban centres of the region, the rural pockets hold tremendous opportunity for the healthcare service providers to deliver quality care.
Paucity of trained and skilled medical manpower, health infrastructure, lack of quality medical education institutes and shortage of funds has been prent in the eastern region as much as other parts of the country. Realising the need to increase the pace of reforms, the state governments have been taking measures to improve the overall healthcare ecosystem in the state.
As reported by eHealth before, in a major boost to the healthcare delivery system in the east, West Bengal government has decided to infuse `2,600 crore in the state health sector. There are plans of adding 17,000 more hospital beds in 2015-16, making the health market in East ripe for expansion and looking at significant growth. With new entrants and more start-ups foraying to the health care arena, copious health allied business is awaiting West Bengal and North East region.
In the government sector, the current number of hospital beds in the state is 63,000 and it would increase to 80,000 after addition of the proposed 17,000 beds. Investment of `250 crore is also being planned and made in procuring radio therapy equipment, offering low cost cancer care facility to the people of the state. The region also offers tremendous potential in medical tourism with Bengal being gateway for Western Assam, North -Bihar and large portion of Nepal, Bhutan up to Bangladesh.
Interestingly, of the total 6.28 million foreign tourist inflow in the country, tourists from Bangladesh shared the highest percentage at 14.64 per cent. And what makes this number more enchanting is the fact that Bangladesh accounts for the highest number of medical tourists, 22 per cent coming to the Indian soil owing to lack of quality health care infrastructure and skilled manpower unavailability there. With close physical proximity and cultural, linguistic and food closeness, medical tourism is drawing big numbers.
At the Healthcare Leaders Forum, Bengal, we aim to provide a vibrant platform for the innovators, investors and to engage private companies with the East region Hospitals & Healthcare Service Providers and also enable the healthcare services providers to exchange knowledge and best practices with each other for better healthcare system in Eastern India. The objective of the forum is to bring forward the Healthcare Technology initiatives taken to facilitate quality care in the Eastern part of India.
As we come to the end of 2015, we at Elets are looking forward to our presence in the east India and contribute towards the growth and betterment of healthcare services in the region through our thought provoking and engaging platforms. We have been enablers of initiating effective dialogue exchange between various stakeholders through our health summits this year in Delhi, Jaipur and the most recent one in Mumbai as part of our eIndia Maharashtra Summit offering.
Hope to continue the journey. Wishing eHealth readers a happy, prosperous and healthy 2016! Happy New Year!