The rapid growth rate in healthcare expenditure in India reflects the high inflation in the nation’s economy. Total healthcare spending in local-currency terms is projected to reach an estimated $280 billion by 2020.

There is a clear trend in a shift from communicable diseases to lifestyle diseases. An estimated 50 percent spending (calculated in terms of in-patient bed spending) is towards the latter. This is driving innovations and better strategies by healthcare solution providers.

This growth is being fueled by rising incomes and accessibility to improved quality of healthcare facilities. A higher awareness and better schemes in Health insurance has aided in increased expenditure on healthcare. The government’s action on making generic medicine easily available and lowering prices of essential drugs is likely to play a vital role.


Telemedicine is a fast-emerging sector in India. The telemedicine market in India is estimated to be at $18.7 billion as of 2017. Telemedicine can bridge the rural-urban divide by extending low-cost consultation and diagnostic facilities to the remotest areas via high-speed Internet and telecommunication.

In addition, India’s mobile technology infrastructure and the launch of 4G are expected to drive mobile health (mHealth) adoption. Currently, there are over 20 mHealth initiatives for spreading awareness about family planning and other ailments, but the industry is expected to reach $0.6 billion by end of 2017.

The cost of treatment of major surgeries in India is estimated to be 20% less than in other countries. Therefore, medical tourism is bound to grow in the future. It is expected to bring in $ 8 billion by 2020. An estimated 60% of global clinical trials are outsourced to India and this is likely to remain steady.


The Indian government has accorded priority in its 2017-2018 budget to the urban and rural healthcare sectors. The way forward is for governments, companies and individuals to collaborate and promote the required improvements in the health care sector.

Sources of data

2015 healthcare outlook India by Deloitte

Study on lifestyle diseases in India 2015

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