More than 20 years after the introduction of the first family medicine program, the industry is struggling to make up the difference, as its primary focus on prevention and treatment is under attack.
In India, the cost of family medicine in the first few years of availability was the highest in the world, with prices rising to $4,200 a year, according to a study by the Indian National Health Service.
But the government is looking to cut costs in the coming years, with a plan to charge more than the current $2,000-a-year charge for family members to access medical services.
India has been plagued by an epidemic of infections and deaths caused by coronavirus, which has swept through the country, killing over 5,000 people in 2016.
The government has stepped up its campaign to fight the virus, including the introduction in October of the National Public Health Emergency Bill, which aims to provide additional resources to health officials.
But health experts say the bill is likely to do little to stem the rise in costs and deaths in India, as many of the people who have tested positive for the virus have not been vaccinated, which is likely a factor in the outbreak.
“There is no doubt that the family doctor has played a big role in bringing down the cost, but it is not the only way,” said Jitendra Shah, a health policy expert at the New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research.
“We need to look at the whole ecosystem.”
The most important factor in controlling coronaviruses, which are transmitted through the air, is preventing infection and spreading the virus to people.
This requires taking steps to prevent people from sharing needles, washing hands, and not sharing equipment with other people.
But there are many factors that have increased costs in recent years.
“It is not only the costs, but also the other things like the culture of infection,” said Amit Kumar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Global Health Policy at the University of Cambridge.
“People are afraid to get tested and it is really hard to get people vaccinated against this coronaviral disease.”
While the cost per person for family medicine has gone down significantly in recent decades, it is still not cheap, according of the World Health Organization.
The average cost of the most commonly used type of family care, in which a person is treated for one illness, is $7,400 a year in India.
Families are paid $4 a day for their health care, which can be increased by adding in hospital fees and other expenses.
But experts say this is an expensive way of getting access to healthcare for many Indians.
“The reason why so many people don’t get proper care is because they don’t want to pay the cost,” said Suresh Shah, who teaches at a Delhi university about health economics.
“They have to wait for it to be paid and then they don and get no benefits.”
The health minister, Jagdish Sharma, has promised to tackle the problem.
“India has a huge challenge, and I am determined to tackle it with a holistic approach,” he said.
“I will use all my powers to ensure that every Indian gets access to affordable family care.”
Sharma, who took over as health minister in October, has said that he will reduce the amount of money that is spent on family medicine by up to 40% over the next five years, to make it easier for families to afford the cost.
The health minister said the aim is to make sure the costs of family healthcare are spread equally across families and not divided among doctors and nurses.
But many healthcare professionals say the plan is too little, too late.
“Family medicine is the last bastion of traditional medicine in India,” said Anupam Kaur, a professor at the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (IIMS).
“The whole idea of the health care system in India has been based on the idea of prevention and prevention is a myth.”
India ranks second in the World for the number of cases of coronavirochies.
Experts say the government’s strategy to fight coronaviretitis is a major factor in its high costs.
India spends more on health care than any other country in the developed world, according the World Bank.
But as the country is among the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, it has also the highest mortality rate, with about 50,000 deaths a year attributed to the virus.