While the US is among one of the most developed countries, India is still considered a developing country and, as such, its healthcare system is also developing and lags behind many developed countries. Even though both India and the US follow the democratic form of government, the US follows federal law. That means in the US, every state has its own rules and regulations, and thus every state has its own healthcare system. On the other hand, every state in India follows one law, and as such, the health care systems are also the same for every state. In this article, we will see some of the major differences between the Indian and US healthcare systems.
Before understanding the difference between the healthcare systems of the two countries, let us first find out what is the healthcare system.
What do you mean by healthcare system?
A healthcare system is something that is designed by a particular country’s government to meet the healthcare needs of its population. Its work is to ensure and maintain the good health of its people. The Healthcare system chiefly comprises doctors, hospitals, medical staff, pharmaceuticals, ambulances, medical requirements etc. There are many terms that come under the healthcare system and every country has its own healthcare system.
The differences between the Indian and US healthcare systems?
Below are the major differences between the healthcare systems in India and the USA:
The major difference between Indian and US medical facilities is their cost. In India, the cost of healthcare is considerably lower as compared to the US, whereas in the US the cost of medical facilities is very high. Thus, we see many NRIs coming to India for various medical purposes. They tend to do their surgery or any other medical treatments in India due to the country’s moderate healthcare cost.
Medical insurance plays a vital role in healthcare as things are unpredictable and no one knows when they might be in need of medical care. Thus, having medical insurance is advised. Medical insurance is compulsory in the US as compared to India. In the US, every individual has to have medical insurance, failing which they are liable for a penalty. Whereas in India, there are no such rules. In fact, having medical insurance is completely on the individual’s wish.
Who bears the medical cost?
Since there is no compulsory medical insurance in India, the cost of medical procedures has to be borne by the individual, whereas in the US, the major portion of the medical bill is covered by medical insurance, which makes the medical journey easy for patients in the latter country.
With a rising population, the need for health care facilities is increasing in India. Government hospitals provide subsidies on the cost of treatment, but there is very poor maintenance in those government hospitals. Whereas private hospitals are well maintained with advanced facilities and duty-bound doctors and medical staff, they are too expensive for the normal public. On the other hand, in the US, healthcare is very important. They provide the best medical facilities with efficient and qualified doctors at a subsidiary rate due to their concessions in taxes and medical insurance facilities.
Medical facilities like ambulances, medicines, surgical equipment, etc. are things that an individual needs at the time of emergency. In the US, all these facilities are covered under medical insurance, thus making them ready and easily available at the time of emergency, but in India, these facilities are not readily available. The cost of these is high in India.
Why do NRIs come to India for their medical treatments?
The NRIs flock to India for medical treatments because:
From the perspective of an NRI, medical care in India is more affordable than in the so-called developed countries like the US
There is a huge waiting queue even for a small medical need in the USA, UK, Australia and other countries while such queues are not there in India.
The NRIs get the benefit of the rupee’s low value as the dollar has a high value compared to the Indian currency
NRIs find it convenient to receive their medical care in India because they have relatives who can take care of them
It can also be a great outing for them as they can enjoy themselves with friends and relatives.
The US is far ahead of India in terms of health care services, whereas India is clearly behind on the basis of the aforementioned points. However, on the aspect of medical cost, India has a distinct edge over developed countries, especially the US.