Dr. Rana Mehta, Partner & Leader - Healthcare, PwC India
The pandemic has brought healthcare to the forefront of our national discourse. It's a unique opportunity for all stakeholders, to reinforce their commitment to provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare for all our citizens.
The three pillars of healthcare access are geographical, financial and I think most important, technological. From the geographical point of view, healthcare infrastructure in India is still concentrated in the urban centers. However, today, healthcare in tier three cities and beyond have a very fast growth rate. Through Ayushman Bharat, the government is providing insurance coverage to over 500 million citizens. This changing role of the government from a provider to a payer will have long-term implications for increasing accessibility for the entire population.
Traditionally, the focus has been on delivering care through hospitals. However, during the lockdown telemedicine and virtual care saw exponential growth. Going ahead, every citizen should be able to access healthcare around the clock. Healthcare is now increasingly delivered across the continuum of care with a renewed focus on preventive care, home care and care for the elderly. While we pride ourselves on being one of the youngest nations in the world, the absolute number of citizens above 65 will be over 200 million in the next five years. By 2041, India will begin to transition into an aging society. And by 2050, one out of five Indians will be about the age of 60. India needs to prepare for this inevitable silver tsunami.
Our country is also seeing the emergence of a robust startup ecosystem. In healthcare, one out of five e-startups have a focus on healthcare. While built for India, these innovative models are replicable across borders in other developing countries and can greatly enhance India's soft power globally. I think the post-pandemic world provides a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to refocus and rebuild healthcare which will catalyze India's next growth story. Besides fulfilling our healthcare needs as a country, we can also aspire to be healthcare providers to the entire world.
Sanjeev Krishan, Chairman, PwC in India
2021 was a year filled with uncertainty and even as we began to believe that we had seen the last of the pandemic, the COVID-19 virus has continued to surprise experts the world over. Now, in 2022, it still remains a powerful, fast-moving threat to societal health and wellbeing.
Healthcare is going through major changes with consumer expectations from health providers permanently changed. Also, technology has radically transformed business models in the healthcare ecosystem - an important point for our country to consider as we make new strides in healthcare access, delivery and other crucial areas like diagnostics.
At PwC, we look forward to building on our learnings from the pandemic to partner with the Healthcare industry in defining new business models in the healthcare ecosystem and contributing to India's growth story.