Home > News > Public Health 29 October 2013 SA could learn from India's healthcare South Africa can learn much from India’s example in making healthcare more easily available, says an expert. 0 Shutterstock Related 80% of world population rely on traditional medicine Fair reimbursement is key to NHI Hospital conference to cover wide range Of critical issues on how to advance healthcare in South Africa Cape Town - The managing director of an India-based consulting firm, Dr Adheet Goggate, says Indian healthcare players have innovated relentlessly, with the result that private healthcare companies are booming and more people than ever are able to access quality healthcare at different price points. Speaking at the Hospital Association of South Africa (Hasa) conference, he said: “Like South Africa, we have a situation where world-class outcomes co-exist with nearly unavailable care.About 60% of the country does not have reliable ambulance services and rehabilitation facilities and paramedical care is largely absent, yet we have pockets of excellence.The interesting thing is that these pockets are not necessarily at high price points but exist at virtually all price points.”Too little capacityHe explained that India’s private hospital sector was worth $12bn in 2002 and is expected to grow to $160bn in 2020.Factors such as GDP growth, a growing middle class and an increase in non-communicable diseases, combined with too little capacity in the current healthcare system for its population of 1.2 billion people are fuelling this growth.India has 13 hospital beds per population of 10 000 people, compared to the World Health Organisation’s recommended standard of 35 (and South Africa’s 28). In addition, just 25% of India’s population have private healthcare insurance, 13% have public insurance and 85% remain uninsured. About 80% of healthcare services are delivered in the private sector and the 5% wealthiest of the population account for about 17% of all healthcare spending. Gogate said that despite these problems, India’s healthcare sector had grown.Business models“We have a competitive, diverse provider landscape, with healthcare providers at every price point,” said Gogate. “You’ll find premier hospitals and low cost players often working in the same neighbourhood.”These providers offered a variety of capabilities and innovative business models to keep prices low: these innovations have a lot to teach to providers in places like South Africa, which has similar challenges. “India has shown that if enough people buy different types of healthcare, the system can respond with exciting, compelling solutions,” he said.He said people needed to throw out the idea that just because it’s cheap healthcare, it’s bad. “It’s cheap because the stuff that doesn’t matter has been taken out.”Photo about doctor examining patient from Shutterstock More in News Friday as safe as any other day for surgery More: NewsPublic Health advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Sex US STIs hit all-time high in 2015 Medical Human right-handedness might go back almost 2 million years Mental health Troubled childhood may boost bipolar risk Diet and nutrition Our genes may soon advise our food and lifestyle choices Lifestyle Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Medical Don't believe these asthma myths From our sponsors Keep an eye on your vision Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Win 1 of 6 R5000 cash prizes Win Skin Renewal voucher Live healthier Exercise benefits for seniors » Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them. No relief for MS » Drug shows promise against MS in mouse study Vitamin D may slow multiple sclerosis Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk Exercise may not lower women's risk of MS A Harvard study showed no evidence to support the idea that exercise lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.