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COMPARISON OF COST OF MEDICAL TREATMENT IN NEUROLOGICAL ILLNESSES (INDIA versus USA)

COMPARISON OF COST OF MEDICAL TREATMENT IN NEUROLOGICAL ILLNESSES (INDIA versus USA) (in US dollars; 1 USD=70 INR)

INDIA

USA

Neurologist consultation fees

10-20

500-600

CT scan charges

30-60

1,000-1,600

MRI scan charges

150

2,600

EEG (routine)

30-60

500-600

Long term EEG recording

150

3,000

NCS/EMG

50-150

1,000-5,000

Botox (One vial cost)

300

525

Hospitalization for acute STROKE treatment

1,500-7,000

14,000-30,000

The costs in India are that of private hospitals and diagnostic centers. Also, the discussion pertains to Neurology treatments in urban areas and metros of India.

Costs are exorbitantly high in USA

It is obvious that the treatment costs are several times higher in USA, as compared to India. I agree that insurance companies cover most of the cost in USA, but individuals still need to pay at least 10-20% of the bills. You can imagine the fate of those who do not have medical insurance (about 12% of Americans do not have insurance). In 2007, 62% of filers for bankruptcy in US claimed high medical expenses. US spends about 10,000 dollars per year per person on healthcare. About 20% of GDP is spent on healthcare. The medical treatment costs in the US are the highest in the world. 

                                          (Source: Washington Post)

Waiting periods to see specialists/get procedures are long

In USA, there are long waiting periods to see a Neurologist, as well as, to get the procedures (EMG, EEG, Botox, MRI, etc) done. In India, one can see a neurologist, get the MRI done and get it reported by a Radiologist in a few hours! On the other hand, the average wait time to see a Neurologist in USA is 30-35 days. Getting the MRI done and its report would take several more days. The situation in UK and Canada are worse, where one may have to wait for 2-3 months to see a specialist and get an MRI done. 

The charges are higher in several other countries too, including Singapore, Australia and Thailand.

Indian Neurologists are well trained and experienced

Regarding the expertise of Neurologists, training in premier Indian Institutes such as AIIMS, PGI Chandigarh, NIMHANS, CMC Vellore, Sree Chitra, Tiruvannathpuram, JIPMER Puducherry, etc are at par with the best in USA. The clinical experience of treating neurological illnesses is several times more among Indian Neurologists, simply because they see more number of patients. There are about 2000 neurologists to cater to 1.25 billion people (one Neurologist for every 6,25,000 people). In comparison, US have about 18,000 neurologists for a population of 320 million (one Neurologist every 18,000 people). On an average, Indian neurologists see 3-4 times more number of patients as compared to American or British Neurologists.

In summary, Neurological treatment costs are much lower in India as compared to US and many other countries. The access to Neurology care is easy, and has little or no waiting times. Neurologists in India are well trained in the subject and have a vast clinical experience. 

DR SUDHIR KUMAR MD (Internal Medicine) DM (Neurology)

Senior Consultant neurologist

Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad

Phone: 0091-40-23607777/60601066


Online Consultation:  http://bit.ly/Dr-Sudhir-kumar
Email: drsudhirkumar@yahoo.com

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