Why India Needs Private Healthcare – an American perspective

Even though the US is one of the most developed countries in the world, its healthcare system is a role model for those countries that struggle with providing health services to their citizens.

Let’s take India as an example. It tends to become the world’s largest country by population, with 1.339 billion people needing health services at some point in their lives. Public healthcare in India is free. However, the country spends only 4.2% of the national GDP on healthcare.

Compared to other countries, this is very low. The world average is 6.65%, but the western world spends even more. For example, the US spends almost 18% of the national GDP on health development, medical equipment, and services.

The two countries can’t be compared to each other because they are too different in every segment and not just healthcare. One of the most critical issues is that around 66% of India’s population is still living in rural areas. Their access to medical care is limited, and these citizens mostly rely on governmental health programs rather than going to the hospital whenever a problem occurs.

That’s not the only issue, though. Healthcare in India is free, but the majority of the population that can afford treatment in private hospitals opt for it. Around 65% of the entire spending on health services comes from out-of-pocket payments.

At the same time, the stats say that the public health sector lacks some 600,000 doctors and over two million nurses. These numbers are staggering. The majority of doctors are working in the private sector because salaries are higher.

Still, no one goes to public hospitals and uses free health services because no one trusts the quality of service delivered. Of course, except for those who have no choice—those who can’t afford to pay for private healthcare services. A lot of times, people get into debt just to get proper medical assistance.

Will Change Create Order from This Chaos?

It’s easy for countries like Canada or the UK to provide free healthcare. Their income and taxation are huge. Their industries are enormous, and they can take on the burden of providing free health services for everyone.

In India, it’s an entirely different situation. Public healthcare has not kept pace with the growing needs, and the country is still spending almost $110 billion annually. In other words, no matter if India chooses to spend more money on healthcare or not, the situation will remain the same.

The state of the healthcare industry says that the global healthcare industry was worth $8.45 trillion in 2018. India’s population makes up more than one-seventh of the world population. Yet, it receives only 1.3% of this amount of money.

Foreign and domestic companies are just waiting for the chance to get their hands on public hospitals. They are most certainly going to change their looks in no time and will do everything they can to attract customers.

The government can also profit from the sales. Government officials can use that money to provide health insurance to those who can’t afford one. That’s the ultimate solution.


It’s no secret that the government is willing to welcome foreign investments. That’s a great step toward the liberation of the market. The changes made over the last few years have already shown a certain improvement. According to estimates, the industry will employ an additional 7.4 million people by 2022. If such a small change contributes to this vast improvement, imagine what the full liberation of the market will do to the system?