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Over 80% of healthcare privately owned. Roughly 13% of the populace insured. That’s incredible, India!

Copyright © 2006 – 2008 Firas MR. All rights reserved.


Written by Firas MR

April 27, 2008 at 12:28 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Well my guess is, even that 13% only look at medical insurance as some sort of an investment that would bring a return after a certain period.

    Regarding the 80% privately owned, I’m not surprised. I guess in most of Europe and America, private healthcare is beyond affordance unless you are insured…which is why we have a sizable amount of foreigners looking to us for healthcare…we are still affordable.
    The key problem here I think is the Indian per Capita, and not the cost of healthcare per se.


    April 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm

  2. ARN – We are still affordable, but for the foreign visitors. Not many local folks are comfortable with the exorbitant costs of healthcare in India. Heck, I think the situation right now is similar to the case with alphonso mangoes. When was the last time you saw an alphonso in the indigenous market? Most quality goods are reserved for foreign markets, for god knows what reason. Quite unfair, don’t you think?

    I for one, am a strong proponent of socialized medicine. I think universal quality healthcare (provided by the government) for all should be the motto. If it isn’t, that’s such a mockery of the concept of citizenry. Have you seen the movie “Sicko” by Michael Moore? It is a great film!

    Firas MR

    April 27, 2008 at 7:57 pm

  3. Oh please don’t say Alphonso mangoes in front of a Gujarati. Mangoes are one of many reasons I miss India so much ! It’s been over 8 years since I’ve been to India, although I had Alphonsos last summer.

    The Canadian Governement has been misleading Canadians by saying it’s providing “Public Heath Care” but only 70% is funded. A majority of Canadians not even be aware of the term “socialised medicine” while right wing American Politicians treat the term as a communist agenda !

    Healthcare is in major crisis in North America too ! I’ve not been able to find a single family doctor to accept us for the past 4 years !
    All the doctors in my area are overworked and cannot accpet new patients, which forces us to visit a walk-in clinic if anything happens !


    April 27, 2008 at 8:32 pm

  4. Jaffer – LOL 🙂 …yea I love mangoes too. Unfortunately this year, untimely rains spoilt more than half the mango crop and so there haven’t been any mangoes around. Alphonsos are extremely hard to come by where I live. I’ve only easily seen Alphonsos outside India.

    We had to learn about the healthcare systems of Britain, US, Canada and India for the USMLE 🙂 . Hey I had no idea about the 70% funded thingy! Thanks for pointing that out. Interestingly, while both Canada and Britain claim socialized medicine systems, in Canada you get to choose which doctor you want to see. Not so in Britain afaik. I might be wrong about this though. Canada’s health care system seems a lot better than that of the UK.

    Long waiting lists are a problem everywhere. The primary reason as you rightly said is that hospitals are shortstaffed. There’s a worldwide shortage of doctors at the moment. I don’t think that that’s a legitimate reason to do away with public health systems entirely. It just doesn’t make good sense to me. I mean, if you pay your taxes, shouldn’t you deserve a basic civic amenity?

    Man, 4 years?! That’s just awful.

    Have you watched ‘Sicko’ 🙂 ?

    Firas MR

    April 27, 2008 at 9:42 pm

  5. Yes I watched Sicko with a group university professors ! We so wanted to move to France after watching it !


    April 27, 2008 at 10:06 pm

  6. “Unfortunately this year, untimely rains spoilt more than half the mango crop and so there haven’t been any mangoes around.”

    Hey I don’t feel so bad about not being home this summer now! 😛

    I’m surprised at the 80% .. not so much about the 13%. I wonder how that’s calculated though .. number of patients treated? Money spent? Number of institutions? I would’ve thought for rural areas the only option was government-run clinics/excuses for hospitals.


    April 28, 2008 at 12:04 am

  7. Perhaps another interesting statistic would be how many rely on homeopathy/unani/ayurvedic medicine.

    Also, are quacks “private”? 🙂


    April 28, 2008 at 12:13 am

  8. BrownSandokan – lol ..especially @ “excuses for hospitals” 🙂 .

    I’m not exactly sure how the 80% is calculated but my best bet is the number of institutions or patients treated. Patients get fleeced around for money even in government hospitals in India. Government hospitals also generally lack vital resources that are necessary to provide adequte treatments forcing patients to resort to corporate hospital bondage.

    Firas MR

    April 28, 2008 at 12:24 am

  9. BrownSandokan – There’s a lot of talk in textbooks as to the mental relief people seem to find in unconventional therapies. This phenomenon is worldwide. If a doctor advises a patient to not take the ‘forbidden fruit’, he will most likely take it anyway. Even the most literate of humans can’t escape the paranoia, that in my view, partly stems from medical science’s lack of certainty with things, given that it is still a nascent field. Even the US is replete with all sorts of unani-style people – chiropractitioners, osteopaths, podiatrists, …horticulturists 😛 . Oh, and all of ’em are licensed by federal agencies! Osteopaths in fact, manage to enter into regular medical residencies later in their careers. Most people don’t realize this but many if not most of all these alternative therapies can actually have serious side-effects. This “it’s all herbal” mentality is quite despicable. I’ve come across people consuming so-called herbal remedies containing heavy metals, steroids, etc.

    Firas MR

    April 28, 2008 at 12:41 am

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