By Ravi Vaidyanathan & Ramesh BhattiThe growth of the health sector in India has been stunted by a slowdown in the country’s economy, according to a report by The Times Of India.

While there have been reports of rapid growth in the sector in recent months, The Times said that “the industry had already entered a critical period”.

“Health clubs have been the mainstay of the Indian economy for the past 20 years and the industry was set to witness a further slowdown in 2015, but its growth slowed significantly,” the report said.

“A series of factors including the Indian government’s push for a single-party government led by Narendra Modi, which saw a massive spike in health clubs across the country, have reduced their value as businesses and the economy have recovered,” it said.

The report pointed out that the health and family-oriented industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 11.4 per cent since 2005.

“This has come at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore annually in the last 10 years,” it added.

A key question, according the report, is “how will the health clubs that have emerged in the past two years respond to the challenges posed by the slowdown?”

The report said there is a need for more “flexibility” in the market to allow the industry to thrive.

The study said “health clubs are not necessarily immune to market changes”, and said that many of the businesses that have seen significant growth are now “dismantled and are now struggling to survive”.

The health sector is a key sector for the country as it is the countrys largest consumer of healthcare services.