A recently concluded survey has found an average fall in revenue by as much as 80 per cent while 90 per cent of the surveyed healthcare facilities are facing financial challenges with 21 per cent facilities facing existential threat.
NATHEALTH conducted a detailed survey with small and medium sized healthcare facilities across the country to understand the major challenges and identify areas of intervention needed.
Post the lockdown from March 24, Indian hospitals have seen a large impact, especially among small and medium-sized hospitals, which are now facing existential challenges.
The survey was conducted in 251 healthcare facilities across nine states and 69 cities to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the Indian healthcare industry.
Hospitals in Tier I and Tier II cities are experiencing 78 per cent reduction in OPD footfalls, and a drop of 79 per cent in in-patient admissions. 90 per cent of organisations surveyed require some form of financial assistance.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Dr Sudarshan Ballal, President NATHEALTH, shared, “We acknowledge and appreciate the measures undertaken by the Indian Government such as extended lockdown to prevent the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases and placing public health as a priority. But there is a need to address the on-going challenges faced by the Indian Healthcare industry. Low financial performance, shutdown of OPDs, prohibition on elective surgeries, and ban on international travel have led to low footfalls from national and international patients in the last three months.”
Besides this, COVID-19 outbreak has significantly impacted cash flow in all organisations. There is a need for a stimulus package to revive the Indian healthcare industry. These measures will be crucial to implement to provide much needed relief to the healthcare sector which is the frontline defence in this fight against COVID, he added.
The survey findings indicate that even after the lockdown lift, the situation will remain difficult for the hospitals and nursing homes as patients will hesitate from visiting hospitals.
Hospitals are working towards adapting to modern healthcare techniques and are providing consultation through telemedicine, but the problem related to OPD footfall will remain for some time.
The other challenge of increase in cost of operations is also a major concern given more stringent hygiene and containment requirements post COVID.