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Coronavirus has highlighted India’s healthcare crisis: Here's how we can resolve it

By Dr. Sudarshan Ballal

Our ability to deliver quality healthcare at a fraction of the cost in other developed countries, has made India an attractive healthcare destination. However, healthcare is still expensive by our standards. A prolonged illness or a sudden trip to the ICU can plunge even a relatively well-to-do family into debt.

Wealthy Indians and those in the formal sector covered by government and private insurance schemes are not affected. The poor re ..

Unfortunately, we cannot simply emulaThis public-private partnership involving insurance companies, the government and private healthcare providers can provide quality healthcare to the middle class at an affordable cost by playing on each one’s strengths.

The retail cost of a Rs 5 lakh health insurance policy for a family of four is currently around Rs 10,000-15,000 per year. This works out to around Rs 1,000 a month which can be lowered, by taking the steps outlined below:

The cost can be reduced by 30-50% if ev ..

The cost can be reduced by 30-50% if everyone buys insurance. Insurance premiums for a group are determined by combining the healthcare costs of all the people in the pool. We can significantly reduce the risk (and by extension the premium) by adding more healthy (aka young) people to the pool. A small co-payment model would disincentive availing of unnecessary healthcare services.

The government should work with private healthcare companies to build functional hospitals as they have th ..

te the Medicare or the NHS because India does not have a large enough tax base to fund everyone’s healthcare. Our middle class will need to pay a small premium to insure themselves. Our government hospitals need to address the severe shortage of trained personnel and they require a lot of upgradation (in capacity and quality) before they can take on a larger caseload. Till this is accomplished, India would do best with a public-private partnership.