Having seen tremendous improvement since independence, healthcare in India is still a critical subject and we have a long way to attain universal healthcare beyond the country’s demographic, geographic and socio-economic diversity. Several targeted government initiatives have been able to achieve reduction in mortality rates and control widespread communicable diseases; however, burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is ever increasing.
Public sector investment on healthcare in India is one of the lowest globally, accounting for only 30% of the total healthcare expenditure in the country. Out-of-pocket expenditure accounts for 62% of the total healthcare spending against a global average of 18%. Though only 27% of the Indian population is covered by health insurance at present, penetration of the health insurance has been increasing over the years.
The country needs to address the rural-urban divide in concentration of healthcare services, access to basic primary healthcare services, shortage of beds and skilled medical professionals, increasing burden of NCDs and quality concerns in healthcare, on priority. India is also witnessing the emergence of conscious, informed and tech-savvy healthcare consumers and consequently, the healthcare ecosystem needs to adapt to a patient-centric model to demonstrate greater sensitivity, understand patient expectations, engage with them and provide customised services.
FICCI has been working in the health sector for more than a decade, as a change agent, to bring about requisite policy changes that can provide quality healthcare for all.