By Dr Vijay Janagama
Director, New Initiatives, Suvitas Holistic Healthcare
Indian healthcare industry is witnessing phenomenal change through the reinvention of care models, to move healthcare closer to the patient. While opportunities are booming across all sectors of healthcare, primary and secondary sectors are pitched to draw more investments in the near future. Undoubtedly the patient is going to play the most integral role of driving the future of the industry. As the ups and downs of the whole sector revolve around the holistic wellness of the individual, single specialty players have started to flourish like never before. Bridging an acute need gap in the space, transition care is going to break the ground and the best part is, it is here to complete the care cycle.
Evidence indicates India has the huge market potential for transition care with an estimated market size value of around 1.49 billion dollars. Alarming statistics of Cardio Vascular Diseases alone is expected to rise from 29% to 36%, making it a major burden that needs to be addressed at the earliest.With the growing population, rising urbanization and life expectancy, there is immense scope for enhancing healthcare services penetration in India, thus presenting ample opportunity for development of the transition care industry.
Some of the key drivers which pave way for the growth of transition care in India are:
- Increasing Demand for quality health services
- Growing base of Non-Local Patients
- Growing Medical Tourism to Provide Further Fillip (Medical Tourism Market in India is expected to grow to $7-8 bn by 2020) )
- Lack of trained medical personnel makes total patient recovery at home almost impossible
- Growing nuclear family setup is only adding to the existing sub-optimal support from the family
Inpatient rehabilitation centers offer transition care to individuals recovering from critical illness through a multidisciplinary collaboration of a team of doctors, skilled nurses and therapists. In stark contrast to transition care, home health care doesn’t offer sustained medical support and instead provides care for mono-disciplinary requirements with minimal continued supervision and support of rehabilitation equipment.
Organized players in inpatient rehabilitation care provide protocol-based treatment in a home-like environment for enhanced and empowered recovery.
Clinical results prove patients undergoing transition care show improved independence and functional outcomes with reduced post OP complications & readmissions and overall enhanced quality of life. As insurance penetration in India is low, most of the expenditure is paid as out-of-pocket expenses, making services in healthcare very price sensitive. However, inpatient rehabilitation care providers charge only one-tenth of the hospital costs and one-third of the critical care costs, making it a more feasible option for the Indian healthcare consumer.
While transition care category is an emerging segment, the spectrum of care was till date covered by the tertiary care through extended hospitals stays. But this could lead to inefficient utilization of critical care facilities at hospitals, escalated hospital expenditure for patients and putting them at the risk of hospital-acquired infections.
Every year India attracts more than 4 lakhs medical tourists from around the world. By 2020, this figure is expected to cross 20 lakhs. In the absence of transition care facilities, patients seeking advanced care will be compelled to bear the high costs of hospitals, hotels or serviced apartments. Similarly, families whose children are settled abroad could be benefactors of such inpatient acute care rehabilitation centers.
Transition care in India is a need to address the growing demand for quality healthcare and changing social fabric. It’s an opportunity to fill the unmet need and create a new facet of holistic healthcare delivery model which completes the care continuum.