hospitals in the country), for example, would charge a one time fee of rupees 10 (around 20 cents US) for an out-patient visit, follows with no cost medical advice. For in-hospital treatment, financial condition of the patient and facilities required for treatment would decide on the necessary fee but are invariably much less costly relative to a private hospital. A patient can be waived treatment sometimes if he can show documentation proof that he is below poverty line. On the other hand, a more well-to-do patient may opt for an air-conditioned room with a little extra fee. The costs involved in basic in-hospital treatment and investigations are much less than those being charged by the private sector, primarily helped by the subsidies through annual allocations from the central and state governments.
The city and district hospitals and rural primary health centers (PHCs) are predominantly responsible for primary health care, which are typically free of charge. In India, immunization is top priority in primary care, alongside with prevention of pregnancy, malnutrition, postnatal care, child birth and treatment of common illnesses. There are also secondary (usually found in district and taluk headquarters) and tertiary care institutions (at district and state headquarters or hospitals which offers graduate and/or post-graduate programs) for specialized care or have complicated illnesses. However, with a population as big as India’s driving the demand, these government hospitals are likely to be understaffed and sometimes, underfinanced. Patients who are dissatisfied with poor services are beginning to visit private healthcare providers.
Recently Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotional Trust and other privately run businesses have intensified the competition and building even more hospitals and clinics. These entries are perceived as health sign to make the industry more competitive and at the same time they also provide subsidized insurance plans in addition to the free or subsidized health care.