The pandemic has brought monumental changes to the healthcare industry. It has also provided significant opportunities, opened up several doors, both for healthcare providers and patients, and introduced many tools that were probably not thought of earlier.
In an interaction with MoneyControl, Dr. Raajiv Singhal, CEO of Marengo Asia Healthcare, which was set up in 2021 by Samara Capital and the family offices of the Havells and Godrej groups, touches on the challenges and the affordability factor in the healthcare delivery system.
Talking about making affordable healthcare more accessible, Dr Singhal says, “Quality healthcare is a right of every individual and with the pandemic having made healthcare digitised, quality healthcare has permeated areas and populations that were denied this earlier.”
With policies changing and the government bringing out several more initiatives, market approvals of vaccines taking place with a model that can ensure that healthcare is available and accessible to every citizen on a sustainable basis, the day is not too far off when quality healthcare will be accessible at affordable costs to all, he adds.
Dr Singhal says healthcare has witnessed vast changes with technology usage making it increasingly accessible and usable.
The Marengo Asia Healthcare CEO adds, “One of the major challenges in non-central areas in healthcare delivery remains the denial of quality healthcare services to the larger part of the country, creating a significant disparity between urban and rural outreach. Despite the centers and sub-centres established by the government in an urgent bid to extend quality healthcare, the goal is yet to be achieved.”
He underlines how healthcare has become one of the largest industries contributing to the Indian economy in the last two decades.
It not only brings in significant revenue but it has also created huge job opportunities and the factors driving this growth are the increasing number of lifestyle-related diseases, disorders like diabetes and hypertension and several other anomalies moving to younger age groups, an aging population and a rising middle class.
According to Dr Singhal, the projected transaction value in investments in healthcare is supposed to have risen almost 14 percent, increasing from $94 million to $1275 million by 2025, opening up several opportunities in healthcare.
The Marengo Asia Healthcare CEO emphasises the need to pay attention to strengthening the health infrastructure in the country, mainly in tier-2 and 3 cities or non-metros.
A suggestion he proffers for affordability is collaborative partnerships where many small costs can be absorbed by the healthcare provider, and clinical corridors to work towards quality healthcare at affordable costs.
Today healthcare providers are accessible online, and patients are able to connect with doctors through teleconsultation. This brings quality healthcare to one’s doorstep and brings down the costs in many other ways.Talking about the learnings from the pandemic, Dr Singhal says the second wave taught everyone a valuable lesson and as healthcare providers, “we are more than ready hopefully to combat COVID in a better way”