A latest health survey has found that Indians living in the rural areas are healthier than those who live in urban areas.
Over a survey period of 15 days, nearly 12% of people in urban areas reported ailments, an increase of 2% against the previous survey in 2004, whereas in the rural areas, only 9% people reported some ailments.
The average medical expenditure for treating one ailment without being admitted to hospital was around Rs 509 in rural India, whereas in urban India, it was Rs 639.
Up to 58% of hospital care occurred in private hospitals in rural India, it was 68% in urban India.
According to the health survey, conducted by the Statistics Ministry, allopathy was the most prevalent form of treatment for both people in urban and rural India, and private doctors were the most important single source of treatment across the country.
The urban-rural divide becomes more pronounced when you look at the age-wise break-up of those suffering from some ailments.
The rural-urban divide is particularly evident in the 45-59 age group. While only 13% of people in rural India reported some ailments, the figure was nearly 21% in urban India, greater by 8%.
The case was similar in the 70+ category as 31% of people in rural India were reported unwell against 37% in urban India.
Changing lifestyles are driving an epidemiological transition from communicable to non-communicable diseases across India, particularly urban India, IndiaSpend previously reported.
The indicators are based on surveys between January and June 2014 across 4,577 villages in rural areas and 3,720 urban blocks spread across all states and union territories. The number of households contacted for the survey was 36,480 in rural India and 29,452 in urban India.
The survey also reveals that Malayalees are sicker than other Indians with Kerala reporting the highest deviation for both urban and rural areas at 31%, against the all-India ailment average of 12% and 9%, respectively.
According to the survey, 75% of urban India relied on income or savings to pay hospital expenses, whereas in case of rural India, only 68% of households could do the same. To meet hospital expenses, almost 25% of households in rural areas had to borrow money for the treatment.