Exclusive: More confidence-building measures needed to propel healthcare sector, says Sunil Thakur

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the healthcare sector has been hit hard, especially the healthcare delivery system, as incomes have been battered. Due to the lockdown and the developments that resulted from it, people barely visit hospitals, resulting in lower occupancy. Only the silver lining is for the digital segment like telehealth which has seen positive traction these days.

Although the government has taken action, further action is needed to encourage stakeholders struggling to support the crisis, Sunil Thakur, managing director of Quadria Capital Advisors Private Limited, said in a webinar recently hosted by the Dr Ravi Gupta, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. Boss of Elets Technomedia.

Quadria Capital’s objective

Our primary focus is to support entrepreneurs and support business models in large emerging markets that have inherent strong consumer strength. Currently, we are focusing on India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asian countries. These are large emerging markets focused on healthcare where penetration is limited. Therefore, they need the support of private capital to support entrepreneurs.

digital health

COVID-19 wreaks havoc in the healthcare sector

Like other sectors, there is also an impact on the health sector. Due to the foreclosure and the rumor of events, the economy contracted. The ripple effect is on health care.

But there is a silver lining for health care as it is not badly affected like other sectors. The impact can be mainly divided into three components. The first is the delivery of health care – hospitals and diagnostic centers, which have been severely affected mainly because people have stopped going to hospitals due to the lockdown, government-issued guidelines and the afraid of catching an infection. The delivery of health care constitutes more than two-thirds of the entire health sector.

The second bucket is for pharmaceuticals. It was not too impacted. The demand is still there in different forms. The supply chain has been affected to some extent.

The third component is whole emerging healthcare models like digital teleconsultations and everything. This saw a significant amount of traction.

Read also : Exclusive: Health Experts Deliberate On Different Aspects Of Healthcare Delivery System Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Our estimate for the year would be that revenues are impacted between 10 and 17 percent based on a pessimistic view for the hospital segment. It is the same for the diagnosis. As far as pharmaceutical products are concerned, it is in the positive zone. This is an estimate we have today.

It all depends on how the pandemic, the lockdown and the stimulus package play out in the coming days. Things will be pretty clear in the coming months.

How will the Rs 21 lakh crore package benefit the health sector?

The government’s intention is very fair to announce a package. But I think the government can do a lot more than it has announced now. Out of 21 lakh crore, the health sector would barely get Rs 15,000 crore, including the pharmaceutical segment.

In the United States, the overall stimulus package is $ 2 trillion. And the health sector would receive around $ 215 billion. That’s just over 10 percent of the overall package. We lack other healthcare markets.

Health care delivery is in dire need of more stimulus

India is expected to have at least 2.5 percent of GDP for the health sector. But the announcements continue. We are very convinced that the government will certainly propose more measures in the coming days.

Ultimately, healthcare delivery is in dire need of an additional stimulus package as it is at the forefront of the fight against Corona. This segment of healthcare has suffered the most from this pandemic.

Hospitals should be considered in the MSME sector to reap some of the benefits as income has taken a hit

It is certainly a serious concern. It is important to propose measures to help the actors of the sector. According to a report by the FICCI, the sector is experiencing a loss of around 14,000 to 21,000 cr in one quarter. Stakeholders are fighting the pandemic in line with their expectations of the government. More confidence-building measures must come from the government side. They started doing it in terms of insurance of Rs 50 lakh to covid warriors. Likewise, to help the workers of Asha, steps have been taken. I think there may be more substantial measures to restore lost trust and encourage stakeholders.

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