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According to a press release from the Government of India, the key points from the “National Health Policy, 2017: UHC and affordable quality health care services for all” are as follows quote/unquote:

  • To promote quality of care, with a focus on emerging diseases and investment in promotive and preventive healthcare
  • Offer access and financial protection at the secondary and tertiary care levels, free  drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency care services at all public hospitals
  • Envisage private sector collaboration – financial and non-financial incentives to encourage participation
  • Allocate a major proportion (up to two-third or more) of resources to primary care, followed by secondary and tertiary care
  • Propose establishment of National Digital Health Authority (NDHA) to regulate, develop and deploy digital health across the continuum of care

So, while this is an all-round perspective on the healthcare industry, what is the diagnosis and emerging trends as regards a specific sector? Some of the key issues that have impacted the growth of this sector of healthcare are:

  • Patients coming into the Emergency Room (ER) because there’s no one at home to take care or watch over them
  • The need to provide better care for people, especially the elderly, by managing their care proactively and not reactively
  • Lack of awareness or information about the benefits of home healthcare within the Indian medical community or the Indian public
  • Medical and clinical professionals are spreading the word amongst the medical fraternity on how home healthcare can play an important role in helping to better manage the patient and reduce the overall spend on healthcare by reducing hospital admissions

With an aging population and the rapid increase in various types of chronic illnesses, there is an urgent and significant need for quality healthcare. Provided in the client’s home. Private sector medical institutions and government hospitals are unable to cope with the growing demand for 24/7 healthcare – in fact, the average Indian finds them difficult to access for a variety of reasons.

That’s why the Indian home healthcare industry has a massive market just waiting to be served. Sophisticated and technologically advanced medical gadgets make it easier to monitor patients, regardless of their location - even for the most chronic and serious illnesses including Alzheimer’s, heart failure, stroke rehabilitation and respiratory failure. There are many advantages that home healthcare services offer and for which customers are happy and willing to pay for, including:

  • Convenience, especially in big, busy cities, where getting to and from between hospital, clinic and home can be very difficult, time consuming and expensive
  • Personalized attention on a one on one basis
  • Recovering in the familiar and comfortable environment of one’s own home

Is home healthcare the next best thing on the Indian healthcare scene?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the following numbers clearly show the healthcare scenario in India. To quote WHO:

  • The doctor patient ratio in this country is 1:1674 - much below WHO’s prescribed ratio of 1:1000
  • It spends about 1.4% of GDP on healthcare - half that of China
  • Its healthcare spend is one-eighth of developed nations such as Britain
  • Globally, home healthcare segment is 3-6% of the total healthcare market.

This is a nascent market that has just one way to go - and that’s up.

Peace of mind at your doorstep.

The other area that home healthcare can impact very positively is for senior citizens - because the aged obviously have many more medical complications. To be hospitalized, with all the attendant complications of these chronic diseases, is really quite unnecessary because such people don’t require the intensity, or the high-tech inputs provided in hospitals. What they really need is the care that a hospital service can provide – but provided in their own homes.

Home healthcare: an affordable option instead of hospitals 

There are quite a few home healthcare setups already in the market that are catering to big cities and metros, offering services for physiotherapy, nursing and attendant services, new born care, post-operative care, among many others. The personalized attention of trained and highly qualified clinicians in the familiar and comfortable environment of the customer’s own home is quite tempting as opposed to being treated in crowded and/or very expensive hospitals.

India Home Health Care (IHHC): Pioneers and leaders in this sector

IHHC, India’s first institutionalized home healthcare service, delivers quality healthcare for people in the comfort of their homes. The first of its kind in India, IHHC has set the benchmark for others to follow. And has been recognized as such…

  • July 2018: India Home Health Care (IHHC) is presented with the Award for Excellence in Healthcare Management (under the banner of the National Award for Marketing Excellence) by the Times Network Group
  • June 2018: India Home Health Care gets the award for Excellence in Skill Development & Training in home healthcare at the Home Healthcare Summit & Awards
  • India Home Health Care (IHHC) was honoured with the Jury Award for “India’s Most Promising Home Healthcare Service Provider 2016”. IHHC earned this distinction at the 9th annual edition of the Pharma leaders award ceremony, in association with the Ministry of Health & Family Affairs, Government of India. The award was presented by Chief Guest Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, Hon’ble Union Minister Health and Family Welfare.

BY THIYAGARAJAN VELAYUTHAM, FOUNDER, IHHC | JULY 13TH, 2018

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