Healthcare to become $77-bn sector in India by 2012: ReportIndia's healthcare sector is expected to grow at 23 per cent annually to become a $77-billion industry by 2012, according to a recent report.

According to the report, jointly prepared by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) and Yes Bank
, India's healthcare sector has grown at 9.3 per cent annually during 2000-09.

"Driven by various catalysts such as increasing population, rising income levels, changing demographics and illness profile, the healthcare industry is expected to move to levels of $77 billion in the next three years," said Assocham president Swati Piramal.

Healthcare services sector includes companies that are dependent upon and provide corollary services to hospitals, and is currently estimated at $1 billion.

According to Yes Bank and Assocham, diagnostics would contribute $2.5 billion to the healthcare industry by 2012.

An increasing number of public and private healthcare facilities are expected to propel demand for the industry, accounting for another $6.7 billion in this period.

With an increasing demand for affordable quality healthcare, the penetration of health insurance is poised to undergo an exponential growth to emerge as a $3 billion industry in the next three years.

"However, the corresponding growth in health infrastructure is yet to match the basic healthcare facilities in many other countries. For instance, the present number of nine beds per 10,000 people in India is far behind the world average of 40 beds per 10, 000," the report said.