IE: How do you rate the health care sector’s growth?
Dr V Mohan(VM): The Indian health care sector is growing rapidly with increasing awareness about health both among the urban and rural people. Thanks to the role played by media, people are now more aware of health problems and have started going for preventive health check ups. This was not very common a few decades ago when people went to the doctor only if they were sick.
IE: What is the latest innovation that has come up in the sector that was not present ten years ago?
VM: It is difficult to name a single innovation. One of the note-worthy innovations is in the field of diagnostics. Earlier if somebody had fever, a paracetamol was given and no attempt was made to find out the cause of the fever. Today a viral fever could be a simple flu or it could be something as deadly as Dengue. On doubt, one can do tests to find out the cause of fever. In the field of medical imaging, x-rays, MRIs and other scans now help to pin point the lesion that a person has, so that accurate diagnosis can be done.
IE: How much of R&D is being employed?
VM: Although there has been a significant increase in the R&D spend in India, still this is in a deplorable state and much more R&D needs to be done. While some private foundations in India and some of the top autonomous government institutions do research, there is still a huge need to increase the research output in healthcare.
IE: How do you visualise the health care sector in 2025?
VM: In 2025, private players will dominate the health care sector but this will get rationalised in terms of cost and efficiency because of competition. Also third party providers might have a role. An increasing number of companies will provide medical benefits for their employees. Insurance should have taken off in a big way. Finally, there could be a rapid expansion of the insurance schemes and through this, people both in urban and rural areas, could derive significant health care benefits.
IE: What will be a major technology that would revolutionise the sector then?
VM: Advances in IT as well as in mobile phone technology will bring in revolutionary changes. As everyone in India would have access to electronic media, e-health and tele-health could probably play a huge role both in preventive medical care as well as in therapy. ‐ (FOC)