India’s outpatient healthcare and doctor consultation market in 5 charts

23 August 2021 Consultancy.in 3 min. read

Indian management consulting firm Praxis Global Alliance has released a new strategic market study on India’s outpatient healthcare and doctor consultation market – five charts on the report’s key findings. 

This year, the number of doctor consultations will cross the 4 billion mark in India, which roughly equates to three consultations per capita in a year. Consultations typically lead to pharma prescriptions and diagnostic test prescriptions – in total the market for these three segments (the outpatient healthcare market) will reach $26 billion by the end of 2021.

Total outpatient healthcare market in India FY21

Doctor consultation spend is valued at $10.4 billion, with general physicians having the highest share as more than 60% of the consultations happen with general physicians. 

Total doctor consultation market - by volume

General physician forms the largest share of the consultation spend (63% by value and 74% by volume). Other top specialties are dentists, gynecologist, pediatricians, general medicine, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. 

Total doctor consultation market – by value (%)

For each consultation, an associated pharma prescription is generated. Each prescription results in an average spend on medicines close to INR 180 – 200. As a result, the pharma prescriptions segment represents $10.8 billion in value. 40% of the total pharma spend in India happens through OPD prescriptions.

Total pharma prescription market – by value

Typically, one diagnostic test prescription is generated per 3.5 consultations, with an average spend of around INR 350 – 400. As a result, total diagnostics test prescription spend amounts to $4.7 billion. 45% of the overall diagnostics tests spend in India happens through OPD prescriptions. 

Online consultations have not surprisingly boomed during Covid-19 due to travel restrictions and lockdowns, leading to a stellar uptick. Looking ahead, the trend is expected to continue, with 1 in 35 consultations predicted to happen online by 2024, driven by factors including comfort, safety, time efficiency and improving infrastructure and internet penetration among the middle class, among others. 

According to Praxis Global Alliance, the online consultations market will be over $800 million by 2024 growing at 72 percent CAGR. 

Teleconsultation market size Annualized Run Rate

Commenting on the segment’s growth, Aryaman Tandon, Managing Partner at Praxis Global Alliance said, “Growing adoption of technology-led solutions in healthcare due to the ongoing pandemic has helped in giving a significant push to the online consultation market in India. The next wave of growth for online consultations would be driven by new-age technology-enabled solutions like AI and ML which can help patients to derive better and faster care.”

Sumit Goel, Managing Partner and Head of the firm’s Healthcare and Pharma practice said: “The outpatient market is poised for a significant overhaul driven by the adoption of online consultations as an acceptable alternative, digital enablement of clinical practices in line with National Digital Health Mission, changing customer expectations, and the emergence of an organised network of tech-enabled outpatient care providers.”