Temasek to acquire stake in Manipal
Temasek of Singapore will be acquiring 18% stake from True North in Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. The good news is that it is believed to be a part of a larger play by Temasek in India’s Healthcare segment. Readers may also recall Temasek’s investments in Bharti Airtel in the early days of India’s Telecom growth.
The Healthcare Sector is growing in the country at a CAGR of 15+%. It will touch about $160 Billion this year and $280 Billion by 2020*. India also needs more investments to build adequate primary (beds, nurses, Doctor’s availability) and secondary infrastructure (subject experts, advanced testing facilities etc) in HealthCare. More than 60% of this investment is needed in rural India, which is largely under-serviced now.
The Three Pillars of Healthcare often Pilloried
It is a truism to state that the Healthcare sector is both important and huge, but sadly enough, the three pillars (segments) of this Sector have often been pilloried, both in India and abroad. The Drugs and Pharmaceuticals segment, the Hospitals and Diagnostic Lab segment and the Medical and Surgical Appliances segment have often been shown/seen as mercenery in Nature.
The public is upset because the players in this market (advertantly or otherwise) actually benefit from the helplessness and vulnerabilities of their customers. Many of the medicinal and surgical interventions recommended often turn out ill-advised. These ‘aberrations’ are far too to be ignored as human mistakes or machine induced errors.
In Ending, one feels while Investment is fine, Integrity more Important
One recollects a discusion with a friend in college two decades ago,. He felt that both educational and healthcare services were basically thankless jobs because there was no money to be made. Most of these were provided by the government and charity trusts. These entities mostly made losses.
The discussion concluded with a broad agreement. We agreed that while both these professions, teaching and medicine were once considered noble, there was not much nobility left. The huge fees paid by a prospective doctor for admission to pursue medicine (in private colleges) set the rot in. The patients of this doctor in due course started paying heavily.
Trust for the Consumer/customer in this sector is now pointing all but True North. Will this industry wake up on its own or will the government need to nudge it? Whatever be it, the sooner the better. One shudders to fall ill these days. Far removed from Hypochondria, this feeling may be called Hippochondria, the fear of hypocrites who have forgotten Hippocrates’ oath.
Related Reading & Acknowledgements*