Medical care in India is today a study in contrasts, typical of countries that have promoted segmentation in healthcare: expensive private care catering to the elite and poor quality public-funded care for the poor. When the poor are forced to seek private medical services they face pauperisation: more than 40 per cent of patients admitted to hospitals borrow money or sell assets and 25 per cent of peasant families with a member needing in-patient care are driven below the poverty line

Globalisation has also fostered a consumerist culture and the medical industry is sustained by this culture. It serves the fraction of the population that can pay the rates charged by the high end private medical sector.