Healthcare can be affordable only through an effective partnership between public and private sectors and technological advancements, said panellists at News Corp VCCircle Healthcare Investment Summit 2017.
Investors and operators in the healthcare segment are doing a good job. This is reflected in the fact that India has emerged as an attractive destination for medical tourism. But, the sector still targets just 5% population and there should be participation from all the segments of the society, the panellists said.
“These are early days but public-private partnership will be a really big thing in healthcare sector going forward,” said Siddharth Dhondiyal of GrowX Ventures. “We import 80% medical instruments and that is one area where we need to focus on. We can learn from China,” he said.
Sumit Nadgir, director, True North, said most of the work at hospitals should be done by nurses. “That's how it happens in developed countries. If this can be replicated in India, then doctors will get time to see more patients and that can help them earn more,” he said.
“We have invested in a hospital which specialises in gastroenterology,” said Abhishek Kabara, director, Samara Capital. “It has attracted good talent. It also has reached economy of scale and hence is able to offer affordable services,” he said.
DG Shah, secretary general of Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, said the industry has to take care of the weaker segments to be sustainable in the long term.
“We need to target the weaker sections. Tamil Nadu government has been giving free medicines for two decades and Kerala has also adopted it. Other states should also implement the same,” he said.
Manoj Patkar, executive director and partner, 7i Advisors, said, "Sectors such as diagnostics, med-tech and daycare have seen a lot of interest from global investors. India offers an untapped market opportunity.”
“India can take advantage of three propositions offered by global players—research and development, better management of talent and commercial innovation—to clinch successful partnerships, said Chhitiz Kumar, CEO,” Philips Capital.
A lot of money is spent for research and development in the healthcare segment in India. The global players that are planning to enter the local market need to customise their products to suit the needs of Indian customers, said the panellists.