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India to drive cost in health sector

India and China will impact both cost and innovation in the healthcare sector. "The early signs of this were already evident in India in the fields of remote diagnostics and health tourism," Harpal Singh, chairman Fortis Healthcare said at a forum to discuss 'Healthcast 2020: Creating a Sustainable Future', a report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The report finds a convergence of trends and solutions in the global healthcare market, including the way healthcare is funded.

It found that consumerism, information technology, incentive realignment are soaring as nations seek to cut healthcare costs and improve access and quality for the citizens.

In India, only 17% of total spending in healthcare is borne by the state, which implies that a significant chunk of Indian population is forced to incur the burden of paying for healthcare services out of their own pockets, the report says.

" India represents an interesting case study in global healthcare market as we are stuck with some issues which HealthCast 2020 refers to as fundamental," says Rajarshi Sengupta, executive director and leader of PwC healthcare practice.

"On one hand, a public health delivery mechanism and infrastructure that can be majorly enhanced, a divide between urban and rural India, lack of customised and focused healthcare financing mechanisms are making healthcare scenario seem bleak.

On the other hand, a pool of best trained healthcare specialists, world class hospitals and R&D facilities are emerging as some of the solution drivers," he adds.



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