The Rise of Preventive Healthcare in India
Preventive Healthcare has always been advocated as a crucial part of a population health approach which includes preventive medicine, clinical preventive services, and screening tests. It helps in the early detection and prevention of serious diseases and medical problems before they become chronic/major. Healthcare industries across many countries all over the world are at a crucial and transformational stage where “Preventive Healthcare” is becoming an area of focus.
The preventive healthcare sector in India is on a rising curve specifically in urban and semi-urban areas with an estimated market size to be over $55 billion, which is predicted to rise and become $106 billion by 2022. This growing market is offering tremendous opportunities to healthcare players of the country to move towards new approaches and adopt new technologies and innovation to improve preventive healthcare models like patient empowerment and better patient engagement models.
With fast-paced lifestyle diseases like diabetes, thyroid, hypertension, heart disease are occurring at a very fast pace. Moreover, the rise in the prevalence of chronic and non-communicable diseases in the country is another major cause for concern and is consequently boosting preventive healthcare trends in the country. Also, the cost-effective nature of preventive healthcare has made it more adaptable for a country like India.
The Indian Government has also introduced initiatives like Health for All and The National Health Assurance Mission which aims at achieving universal access to equitable, affordable, and quality healthcare services that are accountable and responsive to the citizen’s needs in order to ease the burden of chronic diseases. These initiatives are being pivoted towards early prevention, screening, early intervention, and introducing new consultation and treatment platforms thereby facilitating better patient outcomes.
Furthermore, the country’s big corporate houses have also taken into consideration keeping preventive healthcare as a crucial part of their overall wellness and health benefits program for their respective employees. They are also highly investing in workplace healthcare initiatives to improve and sustain employee engagement which directly has a positive effect on workplace performance and efficiency.
Few other sectors which cover the preventive healthcare segment in the country include wellness therapies, recreational sports, nutritive health-focused meal, delivery fitness wearables have also exponentially grown and are the key drivers of the growth of the industry. However, few sectors like Health Insurance, telemedicine, physiotherapy, and mental healthcare currently have a low penetration in the country. However, the technology is playing a game-changing role in these respective sectors to reach larger masses.
However, a few challenges include factors like presently only a mere 9.6%-11% is being utilized for overall preventive health expenditure in the country wherein a major 90% is being utilized for treating diseases and their respective complications. Secondly, there are huge infrastructural issues in the country with the ratio of doctors and nurses per 1000 people being dramatically lower than the World Health Organization(WHO) parameters. Lastly, a lack of awareness among the majority of the population of the country regarding preventive healthcare and the facilities available are impeding the market growth.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge decline in preventive screenings because of hesitancy and anxiety among people regarding hospital and outpatient visits during the COVID-19 crisis. However, this has directly led to a huge surge in the demand for immunity-boosting consumption products and infection-prevention products.
The gradual increase in awareness and access to preemptive healthcare information and facilities will give India a remarkable opportunity to become a healthy nation.