The medical electronics market in India was valued at $6.5 billion in 2013, and is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16% to reach $11.7 billion by 2017, according to Frost & Sullivan. However, indigenous manufacturing in medical electronics is still lacking in India. The government has provided assistance in the form of tax and duty exemptions to boost local manufacturing of medical electronics. The National Policy on Electronics has medical electronics as one of the thrust areas and provides for financial incentives for medical electronics manufacturing not only for new units but also for units relocating from outside India. The Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Bill, 2013 is now considering recognizing medical devices as separate from pharmaceutical products in the regulatory structure. A strong framework that provides for medical devices standards in India is an imperative to boost domestic manufacturing, bring in reliability, and better time to market new technologies in medical electronics.
India’s burgeoning population, higher middle-class incomes and increasing awareness about the benefits of healthcare delivery system have catalyzed growth of the medical electronics market. In addition, a rise in lifestyle diseases, increasing urbanization and healthcare facilities’ expansions have reportedly increased the demand for medical care, boosting medical electronics industry volumes. Government schemes to provide basic healthcare facilities in rural and remote areas have also played a key role in driving the adoption of medical equipment that are ultimately boosting the medical electronic industry.
Total healthcare expenditure in India is nearly 4% of the GDP, which is less than half of countries like Australia, Brazil, the UK, and the U.S. Government expenditure on healthcare reportedly remains around 1.2% of GDP. This is again less than one-third of spend as a percentage of GDP in countries like the U.S., UK and Australia. With a population of nearly 1.25 billion, an increased spending on healthcare is not an option, but an imperative for India. The government plans to increase public spending on healthcare to 2.5% of GDP in its 12th Five Year Plan.
With higher spends on healthcare, increasing lifestyle and non-communicable diseases in India, focus is on providing access to affordable and preventive healthcare. Technology, especially a convergence of medical electronics, IT, and telecom, is a key driver to achieve these objectives.
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