Health Care: USA vs. India – Here’s what US can learn from India

Thanks to India’s state-of-the-art healthcare, insurance penetration in the country has improved, Can USA learn from India?


We don’t realize the importance of health when we are healthy; we realize it when we aren’t. Thanks to technological research and development worldwide, our life expectancy has increased.

The downside of technological development is that people have become lethargic. Now, they have started to lead a sedentary lifestyle. It exposes them to the risk of contracting and developing various illnesses.

Thanks to India’s state-of-the-art healthcare, insurance penetration in the country has improved. While the gap between insured individuals and insurance companies is too wide, more and more individuals are buying health insurance plans from different online and offline sources.

Almost all public and private health insurance providers in India have embraced technological advancements. Now, people can buy an insurance plan with great ease.

In India, heart surgeons perform surgeries with modern techniques and equipment at the cost as low as 1,583 USD [1]. It’s not even 2 percent of the 90,000 USD [2] that a heart surgery costs in the U.S. The wide gap between the average cost of the heart surgeries is mind-boggling.

America is obsessed with high-quality and low cost. All the industries in the U.S. follow this principle. What the U.S. wants, India is providing a better alternative for that. As a result, it has caused an innovative disruption.

What do the most Americans think?

Typically, Americans don’t want to get health care facilities outside the country. They have a negative attitude and second thoughts about the quality of the healthcare offered outside America. They think that the U.S. offers the best healthcare facilities in the world.

Health Insurance Penetration in India

In India, most families don’t even have health insurance coverage. In case of hospitalization, they end up borrowing money to pay the bills. Surgeons at Narayana Health perform 900 [3] heart surgeries in a month. In comparison, most of the U.S. university hospitals perform approx 900 [4] heart surgeries in a year. Indian hospitals are able to achieve this result because of high technology and performance-oriented equipment.

Contrary to the assumptions of Americans, the entire surgical technology of India is cutting-edge. Clinicians can even access health records stored on an iPad. It’s beyond what American healthcare system offers.

For example, clinicians use a sophisticated electronic health record, with the information stored on an iPad. The monitoring equipment is linked with a central computer system. It enables management to evaluate how much time a physician takes to treat an urgent medical problem.

Medical Treatment as per Patient’s Discretion

Americans can continue to pay the ridiculously high prices to avail healthcare facilities that are not even up to the mark or get out of their comfort-zone and step out to a world which gives more at a low price. Furthermore, it is only a matter of time when insurance providers will cover all-expense-paid medical trips abroad.

Is India Really a Far-Fetched Dream?

Typically, as per American doctors and healthcare centres, India is far-far away. Basically, they underestimate the perils they would face from global disruption.

They just assume that Americans won’t travel halfway across the globe to seek medical treatment. Well, it might be that they are right. Majorly, Americans might not fly to India to get medical intervention. That being said, American doctors need not be self-complacent. Thanks to Dr. Devi Shetty, (who has operated on Mother Teresa when she had a heart attack, later served as a personal physician to her) Grand Cayman Island has its own Health City. He is the Founder of a 104-bed hospital [5] that is future-ready. The hospital offers accessible and affordable healthcare. And, it plans to expand into a 2,000-bed facility [6], with 300 [7] dedicated to cancer care and neurology.

Indian Healthcare Easy Access vs. American Healthcare Easy Access

In India – Access to healthcare facilities is defined by a patient’s capability to reach primary or specialty hospitals. The dwellers of metropolitan cities in India are blessed with the facility of easy access to healthcare.

That being said, the dwellers of rural parts of India have to face the scarcity of healthcare facilities in the vicinity.

In America Health insurance coverage offers many advantages. The question is whether it offers easy access to healthcare or not. Booking an appointment with the preferred doctor is difficult. The doctor must be in the network of insurance. Otherwise, an individual will have to spend a bomb from his/ her pocket.

If getting an appointment isn’t an issue, it is difficult to book an appointment as per the convenience of an individual. They need to book an appointment minimum 3 weeks in advance. Doctors don’t offer their services on the weekends. In case an individual needs to visit a doctor on a regular basis, then he/she must be really sick in order to visit the emergency room.

Paying for Health Care 

Paying for healthcare in India is very simple; it isn’t affordable for everyone, though. If an individual can afford to pay for his/her healthcare, the expenses are transparent. Generally, whatever the doctors estimate, the final bill is approximately the same.

In a Nutshell

Healthcare systems in India, as well as in the U.S., have their strengths and some weaknesses. If the U.S. ignores weaknesses and focuses on the strengths of India’s healthcare, it will make the country the power-destination of affordability and quality facilities.

On the other hand, India must ensure to be on top with marvelous technological developments and provide quality healthcare to foreigners at minimum cost while keeping a tab on what going on at home.

Additionally, concerned changemakers can take health insurance in India to the much-deserved heights.

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