Healthcare is an industry that affects everyone. Quality healthcare is one of the most important factors in how individuals perceive their quality of life. With the increase in the number of geriatric population as well as the proliferation of unhealthy lifestyle, a healthcare business will never cease to be in demand.
In a tête-à-tête with franchise India, Dr. Parameshwara C M, Chief, Smiles, shares some insightful details about the industry and how one can start a healthcare business
Healthcare can never go out of business. When it comes to health, most people want the best for themselves or their loved ones. In spotting this pattern, many big corporates have ventured into the Indian healthcare delivery system, creating new higher benchmarks for the patients. While this is a great step towards making Indian medical system at par with global standards, yet, in pricing it at a fraction of what it is globally, there is the challenge of sustainability
Technology transforming the healthcare sector
There has always been a sceptical attitude among the masses towards the civilization’s growing dependency on technology over the past few decades. But as far as the healthcare industry is concerned, technology has certainly proven itself to be a blessing.
As one reads about the surgeries conducted in the olden days – be it Sushruta’s earlobe reconstruction surgery and rhinoplasty in 600 BC or the surgeries conducted in the later centuries without administering anesthesia – we feel sorry for our ancestors who had to undergo so much pain and torture, and risk their lives as part of their treatment. We, the people of the 21st century, are fortunate to enjoy simplified and painless medical procedures, thanks to technology!
With advanced medical procedures aided by technology, now it is much easier to diagnose a disease, determine its stage of development and degree of severity, and then devise a targeted plan for its treatment. All the procedures are now quicker, more accurate, and painless, and the success rates of all the treatments comparatively higher.
Thus, it is an obvious truth that technology is transforming the healthcare sector in ways that would improve the quality of human life, offering both conveniences of practice and confidence in results.
Medical Tourism boosting the industry
With the increasing number of highly skilled medical professionals, the introduction of world-class standard healthcare services, and the cost-effectiveness of available treatments, India is steadily growing as a hub for medical tourism. According to a report from the Economic Times, Medical Tourism in India will grow from the size of $3.9 billion in 2014 to $ 7-8 billion by 2020. This will have millions of people from different walks of life across from across the globe flying down to India to get treatment for their medical conditions.
The major factor helping India to grow as a hub for Medical Tourism is the cost-effectiveness of services in comparison with that in developed countries. The fact that treatment in India costs only a fraction of what it would cost in the USA and Europe has evidently favoured India in becoming one of the major medical service providers in the world.
Leveraging on the growing opportunity in Medical Tourism
India’s odds of becoming the hub for medical tourism lies in her ability to provide healthcare services at a cheaper cost when compared to the developed countries like the USA, Canada, and the European countries. In order to be able to make the most out of this opportunity, the healthcare providers in India must turn towards adopting better technology and hiring competent personnel to meet the standards set by the first world countries for quality medicine.
Because, while patients from across the world might get attracted to the less cost of Indian services, there is also a commonly shared scepticism among them about the quality and competence associated with the price. Hence, to sustain the buzz created, Indian healthcare service providers must constantly engage in learning, experimenting and researching ways in which they can be more innovative and put themselves in a pedestal as high as any developed country.
Points to Consider while starting a healthcare business
If you are considering the option of starting a venture in this sector, here are a few notes for you to remember.
Build a credible profile for yourself and your venture: It is important to convince people how you are different from the thousands of quacks and frauds out there in the market. Building the trust factor – be it through your qualifications or experience – is a must.
- ● Identify a need: There are several areas within the healthcare industry with scope for services. Analyze the needs of the industry thoroughly and determine where exactly your expertise can be fit in.
- ● Connect with the industry experts: Connecting with individuals who share the same background and interest as you will help you gain more clarity. Never underestimate the power of knowledge-sharing!
- ● Self-introspection: Examine what value you and your venture can add to the existing ecosystem. This will help you define your venture in a way it stands out from the rest.
- ● Look beyond money: Financial gains definitely serve as motivations in working for your venture. But ensure that focusing on money; you fail to look at the bigger picture of what tremendous impact you could have on the lives of thousands of people. A venture focusing on money will fetch you only money, but one that focuses on values and service will fetch you more than just money.
Legal requirements for starting healthcare business in India
Thanks to the standardization of healthcare requirements in India, there are various statutory and state body licenses/permissions to be obtained before beginning a medical practice. Being compliant with the law, we have obtained all these to ensure seamless service to our patients.
Quality healthcare has been our constant Endeavour. We started as a multi-speciality hospital and soon realized that a small or medium scale healthcare provider should not venture into multi-speciality that demands multiple departments, various specialists and expertise. But, the raising of funds became a challenge and in being true to our vision, we settled on focusing on one speciality, but with all the excellence it demanded.
Future growth opportunities
Healthcare segment is booming as ever. The crux of the matter is – no matter how the economy is, the need and demand for healthcare are never going to fizzle out. Therefore, the emphasis now should be on research, data and evidence-based diagnosis and treatment, large primary care health centers and of course, single-speciality health centers, all of which SMILES is a flag-bearer.