Table 1

Key milestones in the expansion of India’s corporate healthcare providers

1946–1980Publication of the Bhore committee report emphasising universal coverage through a state-run health service. The federal government’s Five-Year Plans continue support for this goal
1983National Health Policy, initiated expansion of public primary care, but promoted private sector for curative care
1983Apollo Hospitals opens its first facility, later becoming the first publicly listed hospital company in India
1990Tariffs on medical equipment imports were lifted and the insurance sector was opened to private investment
1998Formation of Indian Healthcare Federation as an industry association to represent the formal private healthcare sector
1999–2005World Bank sponsors a series of state-level Health Systems Development Projects which included support for public-private partnerships
2000Restrictions on FDI lifted to allow 100% FDI for health-related services under the direct route
2000IRDA opens up the market with the invitation for registration applications.
Early 2000sEstablishment of several large hospitals that would go on to become corporate chains, including Narayana, Fortis and Max. Concurrent decline in small, individual-run private healthcare providers
2002National Health Policy sets out a framework that is broadly supportive of expanded private healthcare provision
2008National government launches Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana—a health insurance scheme for the informal sector which purchases healthcare services from public and private providers
2017National Health Policy seeks to use strategic purchasing to align growth of private healthcare with public health goals
2018A second national health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat, is launched by the government with increased cover for users
  • FDI, foreign direct investment; IRDA, The Insurance Regulatory and Development Act.