Healthcare is an important sector in a developing economy. The healthcare sector in Nepal is growing rapidly with the government allocation of USD 1.0 billion in 2020-21, an increase of 77% on the previous fiscal year.
The demand for healthcare services is also growing along with increased private sector investment. In the past decade, a considerable number of private hospitals, medical schools and pharmaceutical companies have been established. Furthermore, many private hospitals have installed modern technologies and equipment and are affiliated with Indian hospitals for knowledge transfer. Despite the growth, the gap between the demand and supply of healthcare services has continued to remain wide.
Currently there are a limited number of specialty hospitals and medical schools in the country and patients and medical students prefer to travel abroad for their treatment and quality education where they can. Nepal imports 55% of medicines worth USD 2.8 billion annually and sends samples abroad for further diagnostics.
The current distribution of healthcare services in Nepal is made up as follows: 28% private clinics, 25% pharmacies, 14% government hospitals, 5% private hospitals, 8% sub-health posts and 7% other facilities (including diagnostic centers).
With an increased mobile penetration of 142% and high adoption of e-commerce services, the virtual healthcare services is also slowly establishing itself in the Nepali market. To capitalize on this growing healthcare segment, Dolma envisions investing in hospitals, medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic chains and health-tech companies.