The Indian healthcare industry to draw investor attention

India has simplified FDI policies in healthcare. 100% FDI has been allowed under the automatic route to invest in developing hospitals and healthcare centres. Likewise, 100% FDI under automatic route is allowed in medical device manufacturing. Another important push has been the launch of the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.

The potential game changer has been the unique health identification card that will help make healthcare more inclusive and affordable. The digital health ID will be accessible to the entire healthcare system that is connected on one platform. Diagnostic chains, pharmacies, labs etc will integrated into the system which would also help facilitate data gathering to fast track medical research.

Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission

PM Narendra Modi launched the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission. This is a very important milestone in the health infrastructure journey in India. Health infrastructure was a much-neglected area with poor infrastructure and lack of facilities in much of rural India, as well as a financial burden for those with financial constraints.
This ambitious program will aim for the all-round development of the country’s healthcare system right from the village, to block to the district, to the regional and national level in the next 4 to 5 years. There are three important dimensions to this program.

1. Creation of facilities for diagnostics and treatment with the opening of health and wellness centres in the villages and cities. Facilities like free medical consultation, free tests, free medicines will be available at these centres. Thirty-five thousand new critical care related beds are being added in 600 districts and referral facilities in 125 districts. An IT-enabled disease surveillance system through a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels is being set up. All the public health labs will be connected through the Integrated Health Information Portal, which will be expanded to all states.

2. Necessary infrastructure will be developed for the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases. 730 districts of the country will get Integrated Public Health labs and 3 thousand blocks will get Block Public Health Units. Apart from that, 5 Regional National Centers for Disease Control, 20 Metropolitan units, and 15 BSL labs will further strengthen this network.

3. Expansion of existing research institutions that study pandemics. Existing 80 Viral Diagnostic and research labs will be strengthened, 15 Biosafety level 15 labs will be operationalized, 4 new National institutes of Virology and a National Institute for One Health are being established. WHO regional research platform for South Asia will also strengthen this network.

This would mean that through PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission an entire ecosystem for services from treatment to critical research will be created in every corner of the country.
There is a tremendous employment potential. The objective is to achieve holistic health care that is affordable and accessible to all; and focuses on wellness along with health.

Sources: pib.nic, hindustantimes.com

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