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Healthcare sector 2018-10-10

Ayushman Bharat scheme to Create Opportunities for Investors and Healthcare Chains in Tier-II Cities

There has been a demand for better healthcare facilities particularly primary care but the supply has not been met due to various factors.

By Senior Sub-editor
Ayushman Bharat scheme to Create Opportunities for Investors and Healthcare Chains in Tier-II Cities

Ayushman Bharat, a health insurance scheme by the Government of India is likely to attract investors and doctors, especially in Tier-II cities’ hospitals.

There has been a demand for better healthcare facilities particularly primary care but the supply has not been met due to various factors.

Praneet Singh, Partner, True North said, “Scaling up assets and getting on board nurses and doctors have been tough in Tier-II cities. Unless something dramatic happens, there could be a situation where we push up demand and we don’t have the bandwidth for supply.”

Addressing the demand-supply gap

Rajnesh Trivedi, President, investment banking, and Head of sustainable investment banking believes that security is the main concern for doctors, who are more brand-conscious.

However, private healthcare sectors can come in play and encourage young doctors to fill in the gap.

Trivedi addressed that it is difficult to convince investors about the potential of Tier-II hospital chains. He sees that Ayushman Bharat will change the perspective and focus more on creating opportunities in the healthcare sector and in the overall market.

Trivedi said, “Chains with good numbers, credibility and brand have stickiness with their patients and doctors. Ayushman will change how capital markets and fundraising will happen for these hospitals.”

Problems investors face

According to Amit Varma, Managing Partner, Quadria Capital, “Lack of digitisation of records, quality standards and quality of manpower does not give investors the comfort to go out and track regional chains.”

He added, “This country requires a baseline regulatory framework where digitisation has to be forced, paying capabilities have to be addressed and reimbursements – money coming back to the hospital — have to be looked at seriously. While technology will play a certain role, how do you make more impact in primary care? If we can have tech today around primary healthcare, that will, to a large extent, solve the problem with respect to how healthcare reaches the last mile.”

Digitisation is the key

Varma said that digitisation is key and that reproducible, clean data, which can be used for everything—insurance, patients, and doctors—is a must.

For Trivedi, data is important but sensitive. He believes digital home healthcare is a key emerging area and that offline pharmacies will soon go online.

For Mayur Sirdesai, Partner, Somerset Indus Capital Partners, said, “We are bullish on med-tech. Though the companies are small, there is scale coming into the sector. This is because many of these companies are building their own products.”

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