Anecdotes on India’s Healthcare

Both of my children got sick while we were in India this trip so I got a chance to see the healthcare system in India at work. I made the trip to the doctor twice with my daughter.

Encounter 1.
My daughter got a fever on the night train and had stopped eating. The previous day she had a couple instances of diarrhea. I told the doc that i had been alternating doses of motrin and tylenol every 4 hours and that it was keeping the fever under control.

After a brief exam with a stethoscope, I was told to only give the tylenol and to start her on an anti-biotic for her stomach. Total: 80 Rs. Medicine included.

We were extremely concerned that an anti-biotic without any tests might not be the best option, but we took the advice on tylenol only.

Encounter 2.
Next day, daughter is still not eating and still showing some symptoms of fever. This time I had done a throat exam myself and knew there were swollen tonsils with some white cold sores in the back of her mouth. The doc was able to identify the throat problem easily but I wonder if it would have been identified if not for my own inspections.

Medicines were prescribed to help start eating again and help fight the infection. Total: 150 Rs. Medicine not included.

Takeaways.

  • Cost of care is very cheap.
  • Quality of care is suspect(anti-biotic prescription w/out any exams).
  • Waiting times were normal.
  • Payment was at time of care in cash.
  • Equipment was lacking

For me, the care i receive in the USA is hands down superior to what we received while in India. However, the cost to receive care in the Indian system is dramatically lower to the USA system.