STAYING HEALTHY CAN ALSO BE AFFORDABLE.
Co-Founder & CEO Affordable Health Services Private Limited
Indians have traditionally always only spent for acute healthcare events. The belief that ‘good health’ is a gift from God and illnesses are destined because of Karma; have long permeated our mindsets. Consequently, despite having some of the best minds working in the healthcare delivery system, the average life expectancy in India is 68.3 years (WHO’s 2015 statistics), ranking India at an unfortunate 125th in global rankings.
Consolidated data between urban and rural population, visiting a doctor, average family visit per month exceeds 2.1 times for basic treatment to elective and acute healthcare needs.
Simple mathematics can easily determine the healthcare expenditure that most Indian families would incur during their average life span. If we estimate an average spend for a family of four on basic healthcare is in excess of Rs.12 Lakhs and then add invisible, intangible costs of emotional and physical pain, the figures can be rather daunting. Add to this, the illness and recuperation days that are essentially unproductive go completely un-measured.
In India, the ‘Out of Pocket’ expenses category for dealing with acute healthcare issues in a family drives at least 2.2% of the population below the poverty line annually.
General observation shows that Indians believe that they should visit a doctor only when necessary. Whereas a prudent mindset dictates, spend on doctor when necessary and buy medical insurance that might not be needed for a long time. It would be good to have medical insurance, that is never claimed.
Lets think of it like a car worth Rs. 10 lakhs that is insured. We would expect that for the car to run efficiently and gives its best performance, comfort and mileage, the car must undergo regular check ups and preventive care.
Using this analogy, we wonder if the Insurance cost for a human life is indeed adequate. Does it provide sufficient protection? At what periodicity does the human need a ‘mileage check’?
It is tragic that most people do not spend enough on ‘Preventive Healthcare Management’, which is really what is necessary for their wellbeing and healthy living.
WHO statistics show us that there are 67 countries within the life expectancy band of 75% to 83.7%. The headroom for India to improve average life expectancy is 12 years at a minimum. Amongst many measures, one critical measure in improving the quality of health is really about understanding the health condition – taking action for early detection and preventive care
India has by far the best medical practitioners, best facilities whether diagnostic centers or hospitals. Many of these facilities work together at a local level, but at a larger level there is not marketplace integrating many fragmented efforts to improve quality of health of the people. Public healthcare funding is focused on selective programs and mainly treatment.
At EasyBuyHealth, we see a huge opportunity in changing this mindset of people, creating awareness and driving the expenditure on preventive healthcare. We believe in integrating people, technology and medical industry allowing a self sustained behavior change in supporting the preventive healthcare and improving quality of health.
EasyBuyHealth’s technology empowers the medical practitioners to utilize their capacity, enhance their product offering and bring relevant preventive healthcare products to their patients, thereby creating a market that was either not reachable or did not exist.
EasyBuyHealth’s analytics engines are designed to enable its affiliates in making smart decisions that are factual and data driven. Our intent is to build partnerships with our affiliates that encourage good behaviours and common goals in raising industry standards. We believe that, EasyBuyHealth will provide the platform for the congregation of value systems encouraging preventive health and improving quality of life health for our people.
Our goal really is about improving India’s ranking on life expectancy – from 125th to being amongst the top percentile. This we really believe is achievable.