Today, India is healthier than ever. We have successfully eradicated multiple diseases, while HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have dropped significantly. India has emerged as a hub for generic-drug manufacturing and boasts a large public-health infrastructure.
But we have a long, long way to go. Healthcare is under-served and under-consumed. India faces a severe shortage of both hard infrastructure and talent, with regional imbalances and variations in healthcare delivery. The strong bias toward curative care reflects a culture in which prevention and wellness receive only limited focus, and investments in primary care and public health have long been inadequate. Quality of care is questionable, hindered by limited accreditation and adoption of basic technologies.
A clear design framework is recommended in a white paper India Healthcare Roadmap for 2025 by Bain. With current governance mechanisms being inadequate, the central government would need to appoint dedicated bodies to coordinate healthcare across centers and states and to better synchronize different ministries with health-related roles.
Universal health coverage is a long-term objective, but the urgent need is to create a roadmap for implementation, establish checkpoints, and assign responsibilities among stakeholders. Also, the government needs to clarify its position on unifying existing public and social insurance schemes.
The government will need to take the lead in clarifying healthcare regulations for contracts among public and private players, for the management of health technology assessments (HTAs), for price controls on essential healthcare services and so on.
The key imperatives for multiple stakeholders need to be defined, while assessing the gaps and requirements in critical resources and the paradigm shifts that will lead to change.
The next decade is critical to map out the future evolution patterns of India's healthcare to ensure access to quality care at an affordable cost for every Indian citizen. India, to transform its healthcare system over a ten-year period, 2015-25 is estimated to require a cumulative USD 3 trillion in spending, including USD 600 billion in CapEx.