What are the growth factors affecting the Ambulatory Surgery Market in India?
Ambulatory surgery, also known as outpatient surgery is the type of surgery that does not require a patient to stay overnight at the hospital. With the modernised technology and advancements in anaesthesia and pain control, several less invasive procedures are being performed on an outpatient, or ambulatory basis. Common procedures that are routinely performed on an outpatient basis include hernia repairs, gallbladder removals, cataract surgeries, tonsillectomies, arthroscopic knee surgery among others.
The ambulatory surgery market in India has enormous potential for growth. The country is currently burdened with more than 20% of the world’s diseases but has a very low percentage of hospital beds compared to the world. Ambulatory surgery is expected to reduce treatment costs to a large extent for both the hospitals and the patients when compared to the cost of inpatient surgery.
The increasing geriatric population, growing treatment costs, increasing consumer awareness and high government expenditure on ambulatory care services are some of the major growth boosters of the ambulatory surgery market in India. But it is important to note that all patients do not qualify for outpatient surgery. Patients with a history of cardiac diseases or lung diseases or suffering from serious ailments are not suitable for outpatient surgery. A patient’s medical history and the advice of the surgeon and the anesthesiologist are important in the case of determining whether the procedure is best performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis.
In the case of ambulatory surgery, the procedures are shorter and the recovery is much faster than inpatient surgeries. These procedures can also reduce hospital costs up to a large extent. Considering there are no hospital room charges and other related hospital charges, costs are much lower for outpatient surgeries. Additionally, because ambulatory surgeries allow patients to get back home the same day, there is always the added advantage of recovering in the comfort of one’s home.
In most circumstances, ambulatory surgeries are much less stressful than the inpatient surgery, since most people prefer to recover at their homes rather than in a hospital. Furthermore, the scheduling is more predictable in the case of ambulatory surgeries since the procedures are less complex and more routine. Owning and operating in an ambulatory surgery centre allows flexibility to the surgeons. A team of focussed personnel can be assembled to standardize a procedure and stock space appropriately. This enhanced control over the clinical environment is also ideal for clinical research.
In spite of all the benefits of the ambulatory surgery procedures, certain challenges are affecting the market growth. The main challenge is about post-operative care. Patients have to be diagnosed quickly at ambulatory surgery centres, which can lead to inaccurate diagnosis and thus improper treatment by the medical practitioners. Moreover, since in the example of ambulatory surgeries, patients are discharged within hours of the surgery, there is the challenge of providing proper post-operative care and controlling infections.
Despite all these hurdles, the ambulatory surgery market in India is being fuelled by various factors. Due to the underfunded healthcare services and lack of proper medical facilities in India, the inception of ambulatory surgery centres have become a necessity. The explosive growth of the ambulatory surgery market is one of the most formidable changes in the medical history of the world.