COVID-19: Comparison of Healthcare system of India and Italy

India spends about 3.5% of its GDP on healthcare and Italy spends about 9% of its GDP on health services. India's healthcare sector is not even in the top 100 list in the world rankings while Italy comes second in the world. Let us compare the health and other areas of India and Italy in the context of COVID-19 Pandemic in this article.
COVID-19 Deaths in Italy
COVID-19 Deaths in Italy

As per the news corona virus originated in Wuhan city of China. But now the USA, Italy and Spain is passing through the worst situation. Italy has the highest number of 10,779 deaths in the world.

Italy operates a universal public health system since 1978. Health care is provided to all citizens and residents through a mixed public-private system in Italy. Italy is known to have the world's second-best healthcare system while Indian healthcare system is not included even in the top 100 list.

According to the WHO, the Italian government spends $ 3427 every year on the health of its citizens, while the Indian government spends only $241 per individual.

In such a situation, many people worried that if COVOD-19 can cripple the excellent healthcare system of Italy, then how will India deal with it?  This question has not been answered in this article, but the healthcare sector and other aspects of these countries have been compared in this article.

Comparison of Healthcare and other sectors between India and Italy





135 crore

6 crore 

GDP size (nominal)2020

$3.202 trillion

$1.989 trillion 

Nominal Per Capita Income (2020 estimates)



Health care expenditure (%of GDP), WHO data



Density of medical doctor per 10000 person



Total Hospitals

23852 (2018)

1063 (2017)

Health expenditure per Capita, PPP (Annual)



Total coronavirus cases



Deaths due to coronavirus



Total recovered cases



Active coronavirus cases



Severely critical cases



Total cases per million population



Deaths per million



First corona case reported

29 January 2020

29  January 2020

The figures given in the table above prove that Italy is badly affected by Coronavirus, despite having very good health facilities and good Per Capita Income. In contrast, the Corona outbreak is not that severe in India despite poor health facilities.

The total number of beds available in public facilities in all the states and UTs in India is 7,39,024 while the total numbers of hospitals in urban and rural areas are;19810 and 3772 respectively.

Note: The above hospitals don't include the number of Primary Health Centers(PHCs), Community Health Centers(CHCs), Sub-District/Divisional Hospitals(SDHs), and District Hospitals(DHs) in the country.

1. The total numbers of Ayush hospitals in the country are: 3943

2. Number of defense hospitals: 133

3. Number of railway hospitals: 126 (2018)

4. Total hospitals of Employees State Insurance Corporation: 151

Source: PIB Press Release,24 JUL. 2018 

One in 50 coronavirus tests in India is positive compared to Italy's 1 in 4. It means Italy gets 25% positive cases in 100 tests while India gets just 2% positive cases in 100 coronavirus tests.

The severity of this virus can be imagined by the fact that around 732,350 people are infected by this virus and 34636 people have died so far. 

The first case of the corona was reported on 29 January 2020 in both countries while on the 30th March India has 1024 infected cases while Italy has 97,689 infected cases so far.

The above data says that the situation is not so severe in India as compared to Italy. So the Indian situation can be tackled soon if the common people follow the guidelines issued by the Central government.

Coronavirus Helpline India: List of Official Phone Numbers

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions

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