This morning I went to the dermatologist. The entire process went something like this:
9:15: walk into hospital and tell reception I want to see the dermatologist (no, I did not have an appointment, and yes, she was trained in the U.S.).
9:20: give them my name and and pay 300 rupees (~$7.50) for my appointment and 2 follow up visits as necessary.
9:30: see doctor.
9:45: leave doctor's office with good advice and a prescription.
That's right, the entire process took 30 minutes and cost me $7.50. At home in the U.S. I imagine it would've gone something like this:
Day 1: Call PCP and make an appointment.
Day 8: Pay $15 copay (insurance pays the other $200), spend 2 hours waiting, see PCP and get a referrral to a dermatologist. Call and make an appointment with the dermatologist.
Day 16: Pay $25 copay (insurance pays the other $300), spend 3 hours waiting, and finally see the dermatologist.
Total Cost in India: $7.50 and 30 minutes
Total Cost in America: $40 (plus insurance), 16 days indirect waiting, 5 hours direct waiting
Its no wonder our health care is the most expensive in the world!