How big is india compared to the united states image: This fact, along with what each country can learn the other in its pursuit of better health care, was the topic of a Harvard School of Public Health talk on Wednesday, December 2, 2012. It featured [[Ashish]], an associate professor of health policy at HSPH, and a practicing doctor. Rao was the director-general and former secretary of Indian health and human welfare (2009-2010). Rao, who had finished her Indian Administrative Service career two years ago, was a senior leadership fellow at the Division for Policy Translation and Leadership.
Jha, a Kresge 110 participant, said that it was striking to see how similar the health care systems of these two countries–the largest democracies worldwide–and how distinct their systems are. Both have a mixture of public and private, both on the delivery side and the payment side. Both are at critical points where important policy decisions have to be made about the future of the health care system in the next five to ten years. He said that the Indian government is poised to make a significant investment in health care. The Affordable Care Act is a significant investment by the United States federal government.
One big difference? India spends approximately $40 per head annually on health care, while the United States spends $8,000. India’s entire GDP is $1.6 trillion. The U.S. has $2.6 trillion in health care spending. Rao noted that while India has a low level of spending, there are many hospitals that provide comparable outcomes.