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How I got well in India for $50

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Christa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:54 AM
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How I got well in India for $50
My cheap, fast and effective treatment in New Delhi reminded me of everything wrong with American healthcare

/snip

I had anticipated getting sick in India. Since I had elevated carelessness to the level of doctrine, I had almost guaranteed it. But it was something I hadn't prepared for. I had no idea how to navigate the Indian healthcare system. How would I find a doctor? What if I had to go to the hospital? How different from the American system would it be?

What I hadn't anticipated was that India's treatment would turn out to be so good. And cheap. Unless you happen to be one of the hundreds of millions of Indians who are poor and don't live in a major metropolitan area. The Indian healthcare system is an anarchic hodgepodge, with little insurance, little regulation and a range of services offered by hundreds of government-run, trust-run and corporate hospitals. The care it produced for me was fast, effective, courteous and cheaper than American medicine, even when adjusted for the lower cost of living. But that was the care it produced for me, a middle-class woman in the big city. As America considers healthcare reform, the Indian system is a testament to both the triumphs and the pitfalls of letting the free market heal people.

/snip

Even emergency care in India seems to work along the same lines. The same friend who first called a doctor for me had been in a horrific car accident about eight months before I arrived. He was taking a right turn at 2 in the morning when a truck came from the opposite side, ran into his car and just kept going. His femur was broken like a twig, as were his collarbone and wrist. His lip was split and his nose was hanging off his face.

Two months and a few surgeries later, he walked out of the hospital. He walks now without any aid and has had no major complications. The total bill, paid by his Indian insurance company, was less than $10,000. A similar accident in the U.S. would run up a $200,000 bill and bankrupt almost anyone who didn't have health insurance.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/03/india /







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