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Healthcare industry: Growing fast

Overview

India’s healthcare sector has made impressive strides in recent years. It is expected to grow to a Rs. 270,000 crore industry by 2012 as it is surging ahead with an annual growth rate of 13% a year. India needs to add 80,000 hospital beds a year for the next 5 years according to a WHO report. The country spends US $ 22 billion (Rs. 99,000 crores) or 5.2% of its GDP on Healthcare and is expected to touch US $ 47 billion (Rs. 212,000 crores) by 2012. Booms are predicted in the allied industry - Clinical Trials and Research in Indian hospitals, Medical Equipment industry, Information Technology in healthcare and Business Process Outsourcing.

Opportunities galore

With such a scenario, Indian healthcare industry is ready to absorb a large number of professionals with a variety of backgrounds. Apart from doctors and nurses, paramedical staff, hospital managers, administrators and marketing professionals are in great demand today. The industry employs over four million people, which makes it one of the largest service sectors in the economy of our country. It has the potential to generate 8 million jobs by 2012 and can contribute 7% to 8% of the GDP.

Government policy

The National Health Policy (NHP) – 2002 announced by the Government envisages increasing public health investment to 2% of GDP by the year 2010 from the existing level of 0.9% and the total health investment to 6% from the current level of 5.2%. The NHP-2002 welcomes the participation of the private sector in all areas of health services-primary, secondary and tertiary. It is expected to touch dizzy heights with the entry of private hospitals, healthcare centers, health management organizations and health insurance companies.

Prime actors

The Private Healthcare sector, said to be responsible for more than 80% of healthcare delivery in India, has invested heavily in setting up state-of-the-art Tertiary Care Institutes offering both general and specialty services. Major corporations like the Tatas, Apollo Group, Fortis, Max, Wockhardt, Piramal, Duncan, Ispat and Escorts have made significant investments in setting up state-of–the-art private hospitals in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad.

They are being offered tough competition from several Asian healthcare giants like Bangkok-based Bumrungrad Medical Centre, Clifford Hospitals of China and John Hopkins of Singapore. With corporate entities entering the healthcare sector, they are introducing managerial practices and tools, which they had been using for long, in the hospitals that they are promoting.

Moreover, these entities are showing a marked preference for professionals, even for non-clinical and clinical support functions. This, in turn, is leading to the expansion of the hospital management education industry. An important and positive development taking place in the Indian healthcare sector is the use of information technology for purposes such as computerization of medical records, networking of various departments in a hospital, and providing tele-medicine services.

Jobs abroad

On-line job agency Seek.com.au of Australia lists more than 4,700 healthcare jobs on its site. According to the Labor Department of the U.S. 35,000 new jobs are coming in healthcare and education in the U.S.

Jobs one can take in healthcare industry

Doctors, Physiotherapists, Medical transcriptionists, Medical Representative, Nurses, Speech Therapists, Opticians, Dentists, Nutritionists, Dieticians, Radiologists and Audiologists.

For Comments: psjamwal@amity.edu

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