18 June, 2021

"You Won't See Your Medical Bills"

The first foreign company to announce plans to enter the health insurance market in India, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance hopes that their entry will pave the way for wider reforms. The company's Chief Executive Officer for India, Duncan G. West,

"You Won't See Your Medical Bills"

Do you consider infrastructure a necessary pre-condition for privati-sation in the health sector?

I see it as a chicken-and-egg situation. If you keep waiting for infrastructure, it will be an eternal wait. But if private players come in, funds will be generated for ploughing back into better medical care. Health insurance will create demand for better services. Hospital groups will see a steady income from insurance and be able to do long-term financial planning and investment for upgrading infrastructure. There will be all-round improvement in medical facilities, not just at the top-end but at all levels of affordability because insurance will create demand among a cross-section of people.

What are the specific problems of this market?

The problems in India are unique to this country and so it is difficult to extrapolate the Malaysian or Indonesian model because of the difference in populations. As for China, it has opened up the market state-by-state, starting with Beijing. At present, there are four companies operating in China depending on the...

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