Few takers for govt hospitals

Few takers for govt hospitals

Few takers for govt hospitals

 Notwithstanding the government’s claims on improving the public health care, Indians overwhelmingly prefer private clinics and hospitals, where treatment cost is substantially higher.

Cancer, heart disease and injuries are the three costliest treatments not only for city dwellers but also for lakhs of Indians living in the countryside, where the private care has spread its wings.

“The average amount spent for treatment per hospitalised case, if treated in private hospital was around four times of that if treated in public hospital. For some of the broad ailments like psychiatric and neurological, cardiovascular, genito-urinary, obstetric and neonatal, the ratio was even higher,” says the latest report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).

The NSSO interviewed more than 3,30,000 individuals from every state and union territories to prepare the report.

According to the report, with more than 70% of patients in rural areas preferring private hospitals for their ailments, the health care cost is going upwards.

What makes the situation worse is almost complete absence of health insurance, barring the higher income population in the city. Almost 86% of rural population and 82% urban population do not have any insurance cover forcing them to tap into their savings and borrow in a crisis.

“Over 63 million persons are faced with poverty every year due to health care costs alone. People have no financial protection for the vast majority of health care needs,” says the government’s draft National Health Policy released in 2015.

Just about 20% of the population preferred government sub-centres, primary health centre or hospitals with majority rooting for the private care.

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