Policy Matter

Expensive Medical Facilities


As per the recent 71st round of National Sample Survey in 2014, the average expenditure per hospitalized treatment is Rs.7193 in public health facility as against Rs. 23992 in a private facility in rural areas. In urban areas, the average expenditure per hospitalized treatment is Rs.9043 in public health facility and Rs.34662 in private facility. The average medical expenditure per Child birth is Rs 749 in a public facility as against Rs 6974 in private facility in rural areas. The average medical expenditure per Child birth is Rs 948 in amedical-facilities public facility as against Rs 9106 in private facility in urban areas The report also indicates that 3% of households seeking outpatient care (reference period of 15 days) reported borrowings as the major source of finance for meeting the medical expenditure. For hospitalization, 25 % in rural and 18% urban areas depended on borrowing for meeting their hospital expenses for treating illness.

Public health is State subject and hence the primary responsibility to provide medical facilities to poor people at affordable rates lie with the State /UT Governments. Under the National Health Mission, support is provided to States/UTs for strengthening their healthcare system for provision of accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to all the citizens. The Central Government has already taken steps towards provision of free services for maternal health, child health, adolescent health, family planning, universal immunization programme, and for major diseases such as TB, vector borne diseases such as Malaria, dengue and Kala Azar,HIV/AIDS, leprosy etc. Other major initiatives for which states are being supported include Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK), implementation of National Health Mission Free Drugs Service Initiative, National Health Mission Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and the Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme.

In addition, under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), cashless benefit upto Rs. 30,000 per annum per family for specified hospitalisation procedures is available to all BPL population and eleven other categories of vulnerable population groups.

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