Healthcare system in India

The Healthcare system in India is vast but there are differences in quality. Differences lie between rural and urban as well as public and private health care. India still is a recognized destination for medical tourists. The reason is the low costs and high-quality private hospitals.

History of healthcare in India

India’s health ministry is since independence from Britain in 1947. Since then the government has made health a priority with a series of five-year plans. Each of these plans determines the state spending for the coming five years. The National Health Policy was formed by the Parliament in 1983. Healthcare coverage policy aiming to be universal was formed in 2000 and the update was in 2002.

The healthcare system is administered by the states. The constitution of India tasks each state to provide healthcare for its people. To address the rural areas, the government launched the National Rural Mission in 2005. This mission focuses on rural areas and poor states with weak healthcare services. It hopes to improve healthcare in the poorest regions of India.

Cost of healthcare in India

The funds for the healthcare system in India are through government taxation. In the year 2019, government spending was $36 billion on healthcare yearly and 1,23% of its GDP.

India has one of the largest private healthcare systems in the world. It is so huge that only 20% falls under public funding. Unlike other countries, it’s not that only wealthy citizens use private services here.

To relieve the financial burden, the government introduced a new health protection plan in 2018.  The plan Ayushman Bharat targets poor India’s population, some 500 million people.

Patients are allocated 7200$ of annual coverage for the cost of care at private hospitals. The health and wellness center is an addition to the core component here. It focuses on making comprehensive primary care accessible.

Eligibility of healthcare in India

Unless you belong to the poorest people group, there is no public health program to qualify for. Indians receive treatment at no cost at public hospitals. Even ex-pats and tourists can also use these same facilities but they need to pay out of pocket. For minor medical issues,  this can cost as little as a few dollars.

Difference between the private and public healthcare system

The healthcare system in India is universal.  The state government provides healthcare services and health education. The central government provides administrative and technical services. Though there is a lot of discrepancy in the quality and coverage of medical treatment in India.

Healthcare differences between rural and urban areas are vast. Rural areas suffer from physician shortages and less access to adequate healthcare.

Lack of enough coverage the healthcare means Indians turn to private healthcare. Although this option is inaccessible to the poor. Though to cover the medical costs insurance is available and provided by employers. Most Indians lack health insurance and costs make up a large part of spending. 

Whereas private hospitals in India offer world class quality healthcare. The prices are at a fraction of hospitals in developed countries. This makes India a popular destination for medical tourists. India is even a popular destination for students for alternative medicine.

International students expect to rely on private hospitals. The reason is up-to-date medical treatment in India. Local pharmacists are a valuable resource for minor health ailments. Knowing about the Indian healthcare and taking safety precautions ensure a healthy life.

India is a leader in medical tourism due to the country’s top private hospitals. Uninsured patients from the US travel to India for joint replacement procedures. They pay a fraction of the price they pay in their home country.

Options for foreigners and expats in India

The majority of expats opt to carry private international health insurance in India. They are treated in private facilities. This is not due to public facilities being basic in nature but there are few sources.Those opting public facilities need to pay registration fees above the treatment cost. Most public hospitals offer different levels of accommodations. Generally the better the room, the happier the patient.

What are the two types of healthcare system found in India?

India has two types of healthcare facilities. One being private healthcare and other one being public healthcare services.

How many medical systems are there in India?

India has 6 recognized systems of medicine with a unique distinction. They are Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga, Naturopathy, and Homeopathy.

Overview of the healthcare system in India

India has universal healthcare at least in theory. 90% of the public relies on government run hospitals which are free of cost. Though universal healthcare is not universal in nature. There are huge gaps in care based on class, gender, and geography.

Corruption is widespread, among government and healthcare officials. As a result, public facilities are less funded.  Standards of care are basic and sometimes worse.  Supplies to be guaranteed, such as free medications, are often unavailable. Wait times are significant, patients sometimes offer bribery to receive timely care.

India has one of the world’s largest healthcare systems. Despite huge challenges India provides free and basic healthcare to one billion people.

Healthcare system in India