Why cancer treatment in India is cheaper as compared to other countries

Cancer is one of the most lethal illnesses that humanity has ever encountered. It is an illness that takes a toll on those involved in therapy, both emotionally and physically. It has a negative effect on the patient’s mental health as well as their financial stability. The cost of care for an ordinary patient rises dramatically as a result of the significant expenditure required to obtain cutting-edge equipment and costly drugs. It is a significant cause of death in rural and urban areas since the disease was first identified.

However, the question is why is cancer treatment in India cheaper as compared to other countries?  In a rapidly developing country like India, it is important to keep health care up to date with the country’s progress. This means that India has some of the world’s best oncologists and cancer care plans. Various hospitals have seen an influx of people from other south-Asian countries, in many metropolitan cities such as Delhi and Mumbai. People are visiting India from afar so that they can obtain Indian cancer quality assurance.

Cancer treatment in India is not only cheaper but in most cases the prognosis is amongst the best in the world…

Why Is Cancer Treatment in India Cheaper as Compared to Other Countries?

Because of India’s vast population, the number of cancer patients has slowly increased over time. This not only gives doctors more topics to study, but it also allows oncologists to fine-tune and improve their procedures. In addition, since India’s health-care facilities are less costly than those in the West, many people go there for healthcare.

This helps to boost the country’s medical tourism industry while also increasing people’s confidence in the healthcare offered by our country. Many Indian cities, such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, have state-of-the-art devices and doctors who have dedicated their life to researching cancer and finding better therapies and treatments.

About 500,000 foreigners are treated in India each year. For cancer patients, this nation has the greatest value for investment and the highest standard of treatment. Health care in Indian hospitals are 70% less expensive than comparable facilities in Europe. It has everything you’ll need to beat cancer. PET-CT and MRI 3 Tesla are specialized tumor diagnostic devices used by leading medical institutions in India. Patients at these clinics will be provided Da Vinci robotic surgery and Truebeam radiotherapy. Oncology treatment is carried out in Indian hospitals according to international standards.

The diagnosis and treatment plan for cancer are being worked on by an interdisciplinary team of physicians. The following medications are used to treat malignant pathologies:

  • Surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Radiosurgery
  • Stem cell transplantation

Many Indian hospitals collaborate with prestigious oncology centers in the United States. Manipal Hospital, for example, has a collaboration with the University of Minnesota. This enables us to stay abreast of advances in bone marrow transplantation and blood cancer care. The IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence System is used at Manipal Hospital. It has been a major achievement in the battle against cancer on a global scale. It analyzes over 15 million pages of medical data using this application and seeks the best solution for each patient.

Reasons Why Cancer Treatment in India is Cheaper Compared to the Developed Countries

The Indian hospitals aren’t inexpensive because they have poor care; in reality, the majority of them are certified by the Joint Commission International, headquartered in the United States, or its Indian counterpart, the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals. When evidence is available, it shows that their medical conditions are on par with or higher than those of the average American hospital.

Indian hospitals’ ultra-low-cost status does not come as a surprise — after all, salaries in India are considerably lower than in the United States. However, even after adjusting for salaries, health care in Indian hospitals is less expensive: For example, if Indian heart hospitals pay their physicians and nurses U.S.-level wages, the rate of open-heart surgery will only be one-fifth of what it is in the United States and hence, cancer treatment in India is cheaper.

The Indian hospitals have overshadowed the contributions of other top organizations around the world when it comes to health care delivery technologies. The United States currently spends $8,000 per capita on health care; if it adopted the practises of Indian hospitals, the same results could be obtained for a lot less, saving the country billions of dollars.

Faced with the limitations of extreme poverty and a serious lack of services, these Indian hospitals have had to work more swiftly and creatively to accommodate the large number of poor people in the subcontinent in need of medical treatment. And, since Indians pay 60 to 70 percent of their health-care bills out of pocket, they must have value. As a result, value-based rivalry is no longer a pipe dream, but a reality in India.

Three major approaches have helped these Indian hospitals to reduce costs while maintaining or improving quality of service:

  1. A Spoke-and-Hub Structure

Indian hospitals build centers and set up smaller clinics in more remote areas, to feed the patient to the main hospital, equivalent to feeding passengers to major airline hubs via the regional roads, in order to meet the millions of people in need of treatment.

This closely knit web saves money by focusing the most costly equipment and expertise in the center rather than recreating it in – village. It also develops professionals at the hubs who, when conducting high amounts of targeted procedures, learn expertise that can increase productivity. In comparison, hospitals in the U.S. in many areas are distributed and uncoordinated, reproductive services lacking a sufficiently large amount to provide the vital mass for affordable operations. Similarly, in the United States, an MRI machine might be used four to five times a day, but in Indian hospitals, it might be used 15 to 20 times per day.

Similar systems are being established in American hospitals, but there are already so many hubs but not enough spokes. Furthermore, rather than lowering prices by building a hub-and-spoke network, hospitals often merge to gain monopoly control over insurance providers.

  1. Shifting Tasks

Routine duties are delegated to lower-skilled staff in Indian hospitals, allowing specialist doctors to perform only the most complex operations. Again, need is the mother of invention; with a persistent shortage of highly qualified doctors in India, hospitals have had to expand their scope of services. Doctors at these hospitals have been extremely profitable by concentrating solely on the more technical aspects of an operation — for example, conducting up to five or six operations every hour instead of the one or two surgeries typical in the United States.

Costs have since been minimized as a result of this breakthrough. Following the transfer in duties from physicians to nurse practitioners and nurses, many hospitals have developed a lower tier of paramedic staff who receive two years of training after high school to perform the most basic medical tasks. These employees make up more than half of the staff of one hospital. In contrast, in the United States, the first cost-cutting decision is always to lay off support workers, delegating more mundane jobs like accounting and transcription to doctors who are underqualified for them — the very wrong kind of job delegating.

  1. Thriftiness, the Old-Fashioned Way

In American hospitals, there is a lot of wastage. In the United States, a hospital looks like a five-star resort; half of the facility has little bearing on patient outcomes, and physicians are blissfully ignorant of costs. Indian hospitals, on the other hand, are obsessive for stewarding money carefully, sterilizing and securely reusing many surgical materials that are regularly discarded in the United States after a single usage. They’ve also produced low-cost local instruments like stents and intraocular lenses that are a tenth of the cost of imported devices.

These clinics have also been creative in terms of physician compensation. Doctors in some Indian hospitals are paid a fixed salary irrespective of how many tests they request, as opposed to the fee-for-service model, which encourages needless procedures and tests. Other hospitals use team-based pay, which creates social pressure to postpone testing and treatments that aren’t required.


The cost of cancer care in India is just a tenth of what it costs in developing countries. And when ancillary expenses such as airline bookings, hotel stays, and local transportation are factored in, a medical tourist traveling to India usually saves thousands of dollars.

Indian doctors and hospitals may have found the perfect way to reduce expenses while also providing high-quality patient care by adapting mass production and lean production methods to health care delivery. However, in the United States, innovation has exploded in the invention of modern pills, pharmaceutical treatments, instruments, and surgical supplies, but it seems to have stalled in the area of health care delivery. Health care is too often seen as an art in the United States, with each patient treated as a person.


Willie Verrall

About the author

Willie is a freelance content writer who specializes in a variety of fields and brings a diverse set of talents and perspectives to the table. In addition to being a content creator, she is a photographer, graphic designer, and web designer.

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