”Bringing World-class Healthcare to India”. The Rise of Corporate Hospitals

[EN] Corporate hospitals can be defined as private for-profit hospitals (as opposed to charitable hospitals) offering general or specialist tertiary level care (e.g. cardiac care). They are different from others hospitals because of their private corporate limited status.  Following the liberalization and economic reforms of 1991, we may suppose that corporate hospitals mushroomed all over India. Such hospitals are expanding rapidly in number especially in the metropolises such as Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

But more than ten years after economic reforms, they hardly tap 7 per cent of the total spendings in private healthcare (CII-McKinsey, 2002). Because of their for-profit orientation and certain misuses of public subsidies, their expansion has become controversial in a country where public hospitals and primary care facilities are in such a bad shape. With the best medical teams and the wealthiest patients fleeing from the public hospitals to these institutions reserved for elite, the gap in the delivery of quality care has surely increased. But who is responsible for this situation? The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and their Structural Adjustment Policy? The national and local political elites who followed the prescriptions of the international agencies? The corporate hospitals and the economic powers behind these hospitals? The NRIs who came back to India with new concepts of care?

If globalization has a lot to explain on the emergence of corporate hospitals, we would like to remind of and analyse the complexity that prevailed during the birth and the development of this innovation. The interactions between local and global forces were numerous and took different channels. The birth and expansion of corporate hospitals are embedded in those channels.


Lefebvre, Bertrand (2009) « ”Bringing World-class Healthcare to India”. The Rise of Corporate Hospitals », in Vaguet, A. (éd) Indian Health Landscapes under Globalization, Manohar, New Delhi, pp. 83-99