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Free healthcare is provided for by India's constitution. In practice, however, this is not a reality. There are not enough government hospitals or healthcare facilities to do so. Most people seek medical care from the private sector, paying expenses out of pocket rather than through insurance programs.

In practice, public healthcare is only available for those whose incomes are below the poverty level. Although the public healthcare system was intended to cover everyone, the poor quality of care led those who could afford it to seek private care instead. Presently, the country's public health system caters to the poor, and to those in rural areas of the country.

Health insurance programs in India cover hospitalization and associated costs, but not the cost of consultations or medications.

The availability and quality of healthcare in India is variable. Some of its cities have clinics that cater to travelers and foreign expatriates. These may have a higher standard of care than can be obtained in other parts of the country, and have the ability to communicate with reputable hospitals, specialists, and insurance companies, ensuring a continuum of care. On the other hand, India's rural areas are unlikely to have reliable medical facilities.

In the 1980s, the Indian government provides subsidies that helped to spur the development of private healthcare facilities and programs, creating a private healthcare industry that increased in the 1990s and has dominated the market in the 2000s, providing approximately 70% of the healthcare needs in India. This comes at a considerable cost to the Indian people, however. Private healthcare providers in India often offers a high level of medical care, but at costs that may be devastating to the economic well-being of Indian families, while the poor are left with few options.

On the other hand, medical tourism is a growing industry in India. The industry involves medical facilities in India that are able to offer medical care on par with that of developed countries, but at a lower cost. Foreign patients, largely from the United States and the United Kingdom, are traveling to India for medical care, but significant numbers come also from nearby countries like Russia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Among the advantages offered by Indian facilities are the latest technologies in medical care at a lower cost, often provided by doctors and surgeons who have been trained in the US or the UK, and who speak English fluently. Although expensive by Indian standards, many procedures can be obtained in India at one-tenth the cost.

Topics related to the public or private healthcare system in India are appropriate for this category. These may include informational sites dealing with any aspect of aspects of the country's healthcare system, as well as Indian healthcare providers, facilities, and programs, public safety programs or agencies, and wellness programs.



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