Here is a incident I found on facebook wall about cost comparison of a surgery for a paitent (author’s mother ) between US and India . This story helps to compare the cost of healthcare between 2 nations.
While I was in the US for couple of years, I always felt that – if India could do so much(in terms of value addition and reduce cost ) in providing software services to US, Europe Japan and other nations – it can definitely be far more effective in lowering the total cost of Healthcare in the US and other countries. Besides cost, there are other aspects like – ease of consulting doctors quickly , getting multiple opinions on a medical condition , admission into hospitals for any suspicion of emergency etc. play a big factor in this bias towards India’s healthcare sector advantage.
Of course, some might argue about the “Quality of healthcare” being different between the hospitals and also the coverage of Insurance.However, the advancements in medical healthcare and ‘quality and reliability of medical service’ among other things has improved tremendously in India in the past few years. There is also onset of “commercialization of healthcare sector” -where doctors/hospitals prescribe unwanted medicines and also surgeries to patients.
However, if comparison is made purely on –the cost of healthcare, then in the US , its is still very high -see the link above for a sample. Affordability of healthcare procedures for even US citizens in the – average to good income group – is still at a premium – so much so, that it eats a significant amount of their savings or future earnings – post insurance coverage & co-pays ! Hence, the Medical tourism trend is still quite popular in India and south Asian countries.
There are lots of other factors besides cost – that one might need to consider when comparing healthcare services between India and the “developed nations” but in the end – India and other such nations – do have a edge in healthcare over the West.
Minor surgeries, chronic illness and preventive healthcare cost is still quite low in India. Medical tourism can really provide a low cost, quick and timely help to most of the healthcare needs of the west.
If any of you can share your good/bad experiences on similar lines, it would be perhaps help others in making a better and informed decision.
Please share your views in comments section below…