India’s Diagnostics Sector to Grow 20%

India’s diagnostics sector is forecasted to grow at about 20% over the next three years. The diagnostics sector is estimated to be about $2 billion by the end of 2013.

5% of India’s GDP is spent on healthcare. This is significantly lower than in the US, where healthcare spending is 15% of GDP. Indian healthcare expenditures, however will grow due to higher government spending and increasing private investment in healthcare. Other healthcare growth drivers are a growing number of affluent middle and upper income earners seeking more comprehensive medical care and an increasing number of health insurance policyholders.

More than two thirds of medical decisions in India’s medical institutions are based on local diagnostic services, which include pathological laboratory tests. There are about 100,000 diagnostic laboratories in India. This is about half the number of those in the US (about 200,000). Test volumes serviced by Indian laboratories vary, from a few hundred tests a day for regional and hospital laboratories, to 2,000 to 3,000 tests per day for larger laboratories.

India’s diagnostic services, including specialized tests such as molecular diagnostics, are generally cheaper than in most developed countries. However, most Indian laboratories in the private sector are not accredited, as accreditation is not mandatory in India.