The report on India’s healthcare sector – ‘The Evolving Indian Healthcare Ecosystem: What It Means for the Real Estate Sector’ highlighted the trends expected to redefine the healthcare landscape and delivery in the country in the coming times.
The report also states that India has one of the lowest bed-to-population ratios in the world, which is indicative of the infrastructure gap as well as the vast growth potential of this segment.
The report ran an analysis to identify this growth potential to understand how much real estate space hospitals would require to ensure equitable distribution of health services in the country by 2030.
As per the report, India will require an additional 1.3 billion sq. ft. of healthcare space to improve the infrastructure disparity.
“Healthcare in India is being driven by rising income levels, growing health awareness, better access to medical insurance amidst increasing government spending on healthcare, an ageing population and the changing nature of epidemiology. COVID-19 underlined the importance of this segment, thereby amplifying investor interest,” said Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & CEO – India, South-East Asia, Middle East & Africa, CBRE.
The growing incidence of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and the COVID-19 pandemic have helped identify the challenges that exist in terms of infrastructure and flexibility to cater to sudden influx of patients and capacity building.
“Moreover, the pandemic has ensured that in addition to health facilities, other functions too have entered the mainstream to forge a new ecosystem. These include telehealth / healthtech, deeper penetration of medical insurance, rise of quality home healthcare services, focus on patient experience and hospital environment, and transition from disease cure to prevention and wellness,” Magazine added.
Most of these challenges existed prior to the pandemic, but have come now come to greater focus. However, the growing levels of awareness towards these challenges and the will to address them have led to an improved policy and spending scenario on the government’s part and widening private sector participation.
The report further highlighted the key trends in the healthcare space that are driving its transformation and what industry stakeholders can do to drive positive outcomes.
“We expect further expansion by hospital players, leading to a spurt in demand for land across the country. Moreover, as the hospital-and-clinic model gains precedence, peripheral areas of tier I cities as well as high traffic areas in tier II and III locations would see land acquisition for setting up clinics,” the report said.
Due to specific storage needs of life-saving pharmaceuticals and vaccines, the demand for warehouse spaces will grow manifold. As access to healthcare increases, this demand could spread to Tier II and III regions. Owing to the rising demand for medical products and pandemic-related difficulties including mobility restrictions and infection spikes in certain areas, reshoring of medical supply chains is also likely.
The emphasis on experience may result in a reconfiguration of hospital spaces, which could result in corporate operations such as administration being moved away from the main campus. This would generate demand for office space to accommodate these functions.
Meanwhile, increased emphasis on health and wellness would lead residential developers to include a healthcare component in their future projects. For this, developers could either open their own healthcare centres or partner with third-party providers.