India’s innovation boom
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Nearly four fifths of health services in India are provided privately, while recent years have seen some liberalisation of the industry. Barriers to investment have been reduced, and tax breaks offered for enterprises in smaller cities and rural areas.
The result? According to The Economist this week, an innovative boom of cost-cutting technologies that are improving the health of India’s middle- and low-income earners.
The process is aided by India’s economic boom, allowing more people to purchase health insurance.
The article includes many examples, such as Apollo Hospitals, who are opening new facilities in small and medium sized cities, saving costs for people who would otherwise have to travel to large cities.
LifeSpring Hospitals, meanwhile, offer maternity services, with normal deliveries available at a staggeringly frugal $40.
Furthermore, standards are often even higher than in wealthy countries. Nearly 60 per cent of Indian hospitals are using health-information technology, while the figure in the USA stands at a mere 20 per cent.
One American company who have switched to India said they did so in order to “escape over-regulation and the political power of the medical lobby.”
There's a lesson here: cut down regulation and enterprise will prosper. Thankfully India's patients are starting to reap the lesson's rewards.