Private hospital sector to touch $ 125 billion by 2017: Report

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) India's private hospitals sector with a 20 percent compounded annual growth rate is estimated to reach $125 billion by 2017 from the present $70 billion, a study by industry association Assocham said Wednesday.

The diagnostic and pathology services contribution to healthcare industry will touch $5.2 billion by 2017 as against $2.5 billion in 2012-13.

The study, "Healthcare in India", said that rising income levels and exposure to international standards of quality have led to an increasing demand for quality private healthcare.

"The private sector accounts for 80 percent of India's healthcare delivery market which is higher than any other country. Out of pocket spending by Indians constitutes 94 percent of total spend in the private health industry," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham.

The study said that the presence of private hospitals will significantly increase investments in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

"The investments are increasingly getting momentum and with the economic growth in these cities, healthcare sector is expected to rise exponentially," said Rawat.

Medical tourism, which allows most hospitals to charge a premium of around 20-25 percent over local patients, too is growing at 18 percent, and is expected to touch $2 billion per annum by 2015 from the current $1 billion.

As per the study, India attracts patients mostly from Africa, Middle-Eastern countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar who come mainly for organ transplant, treatment of orthopedic, cardiac and oncology disorders.

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