Q: Do you believe medical crowdfunding has become a boon as healthcare continues to be largely out of pocket expenditure in India. What are the challenges that the patients encounter before resorting to medical crowdfunding platforms?
Varun Sheth: We are a country of 1.3 billion people but our healthcare spending is merely 1.28% of the GDP. Though we have promising healthcare schemes, the coverage is insufficient for treating critical illnesses such as cancer or transplants which cost up to Rs. 25 lakhs. Additionally, the schemes are restricted to the poor and underprivileged families, so middle-class families continue to struggle with the medical treatment cost. Hence, medical crowdfunding has become a boon for the people who are not able to afford and access quality and timely healthcare.
An estimated 80 percent of the Indian population is without any form of health insurance and 63 percent of all medical emergency costs are out-of-pocket expenses, most families drain their entire savings, sell their assets, borrow money at high rates to fund their medical