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 NEXT ON HEALTH24X Medical first: Twins treated for rare condition while still in the womb 22 minutes ago 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 Medical Medical first: Twins treated for rare condition while still in the womb News SAHRC overseeing HIV patients' transfer to public health facilities Medical 7 reasons why your sinusitis could be worse in winter Lifestyle How skipping this much sleep makes arguing with your partner more dangerous Fitness Unlock your best performance with these 4 mindset tips Lifestyle SEE: How many people smoke around the world? From our sponsors Win a R1 500 hamper with Alpecin Hypertension Consumer Fact Sheet Understanding diabetes self-management WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal voucher! Live healthier Mental health & your work » How open are you about mental illness in the workplace? Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips. Sleep & You » Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia 6 things that are sabotaging your sleep Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.