Problems Faced by Small and Medium Healthcare Startups

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Stating a new small and medium scale firm is a big task in itself & when that firm is a healthcare centre the challenges are already added. There is a significant progress made by the healthcare centres in India in attribute to the combination of both public and private sector. It is always difficult for a medium or small scale firm to get started and make its way in the market with the given level of competition by the large firms. Healthcare has become India’s largest sectors, both in terms of revenue and expenditure. Research by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India indicates the size of healthcare industry will reach from $160 in 2017 to $280 billion by 2020. But despite this growth, India’s healthcare faces numerous challenges in trying to effectively serve its 1.3 billion population.

Despite the rosy picture painted by these numbers, the current healthcare sector in India faces major challenges owing to several social, economic and political factors. Broadly speaking, the healthcare system faces the triple challenge of raising service quality and providing equitable access while addressing and tackling the changing disease incidence profiles. Let’s take a look at the Indian healthcare industry analysis on the basis of current healthcare issues in startup companies.

Healthcare Industry Overview: 6 Major Issues in Healthcare Startups

Health Infrastructure

Infrastructure is pain point in the Indian healthcare sector. The country faces severe resource shortage on both capitals invested and manpower. The infrastructure for the healthcare centre should be a little space-age to fit in all the equipment’s and even for the operation process to take place. And as the firm is set in small scale the resource particularly the capital is minimum with the investor. According to healthcare industry sectors, providing for quality healthcare services is highly capital intensive where the cost of building a secondary care and a tertiary care hospital could be as high as 25 lakhs and 40 lakhs per installed bed, respectively. This means that in order to meet the WHO standards of 1 bed per 1000 population would require an investment of INR 162,500 crores.

Developing Client Trust in Healthcare Sector

The trust of the clients is really difficult for a newly firm to make on their services. And when it comes to healthcare the people became more conscious and aware about the work and the tolls used. So to develop this trust we need to work really hard and convince the client for their own health. The image of the firm is to be maintained to attract more clients. This reputation is only created by the clients who have been satisfied with the work and appreciated it. And for that the firm needs to work harder to make that trust and make the clients come back for the services provided. Healthcare companies should focus on better healthcare services to clients.

Human Capital Crunch in Healthcare Industry

For all the small and medium enterprises this requires a search and a good amount of money to pay to the professionals. Healthcare sector requires highly skilled human resources from doctors to other medical support staff like nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists, etc. The physician’s ratio in India stands at 0.7 per 1000 population Moreover, majority of the healthcare professionals happen to be concentrated in urban areas where consumers have higher paying power, leaving rural areas underserved. According to a KPMG report, although India meets the global average in terms of the number of physicians, 74 percent of its doctors cater to a third of urban population, or no more than 442 million people. As a consequence, India is 81 percent short of specialists at rural community health centres.

Health Insurance

India’s health insurance model excludes a large part of the population with over three quarters of the population having no health insurance. 24 percent of the population that has some kind of medical insurance includes both private and public sector insurance and the central scheme for weaker sections, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana. Government contribution to insurance stands at roughly 32 percent. Even as a copy of the U.S. model, commercial health insurance in India is seriously deficient.

It almost entirely covers only catastrophic expenditure, such as the cost of highly restricted hospital treatments, which are offered without cost and quality regulation and external audits. Outpatient treatment and prescription medicines are not covered. Due to this reason the people of the country are not able to pay the fee of the private firms with largely include the medium scale healthcare.

Not Enough Spent On Healthcare

As per data from 2014, India spends just 4.7% of GDP on healthcare, whereas China spends 5.6 times more, with the U.S. 125 times more. Around 62% of health expenses incurred by Indians were met using personal savings, called “out-of-pocket expenses,” compared with 13.4% in the U.S., 10% in the UK and 54% in China. The financial help required by the small scale health care is not provided by the government and it leads to non-development of these firms.

Preventive Care in Healthcare Startups

Rather than consulting trained doctors, home remedies are often used as an effective mode of treatment, where almost every household has someone to offer healthcare advice. However, the authenticity of information offered is often debatable. To create awareness in this area, a start-up called ‘Myupchar’ — meaning self-treatment in Hindi — gives users a range of information on ayurvedic — “whole-body” holistic treatment — homeopathy and allopathy, to address various health and wellness-related issues, including obesity, pregnancy, women’s health and post-surgery care. We as a healthcare centre provide better treatment for the particular disease than the home remedies but as the perception of the old saying the remedies are more preferable by the people which ultimately reduce the footfall in the clinic.

Healthcare Industry Challenges: Conclusion

The healthcare sector in India is poised at a crossroads where the right policy action is extremely critical in determining the future course of the sector. The industry faces major challenges owing to the changing demographics of the country, the poor state of the public infrastructure, lack of financial resources, paucity of human capital and poor governance. The staggeringly low contribution of the public sector in the healthcare industry sits at the centre of all these problems. While the National Health Policy tries to address the majority of these challenges, it lacks significantly in terms of the feasibility of implementation and also inadequate finances.

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