Average per day cost for public hospitals is Rs 2,833 compared to Rs 6,788 for private hospitals: IIT Jodhpur study

Provisioning of services under the public sector is more value for money compared to purchasing of services from the private sector

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New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur researcher gave a comparative study on how much do government and households spend on an episode of hospitalization during their visit to public and private healthcare facilities in India.
The result of the research states that the government and households put together spent substantially more per hospitalization in private hospitals than public hospitals. This comparative study for public and private hospitals was carried out in Chhattisgarh state by Dr. Alok Ranjan, Assistant Professor, School of Liberal Arts, IIT Jodhpur, along with Dr. Samir Garg (First author and Executive Director, State Health Resource Centre (SHRC), Chhattisgarh); Narayan Tripathi, Senior Program Coordinator, SHRC; and Kirtti Kumar Bebarta, Program Associate, SHRC.
The average total spending per day of hospitalization in India was found to be INR 2833 for public hospitals and INR 6788 for private hospitals. The results of this research were published in Health Economics Review Journal which is an international peer reviewed journal.
This study has important implications in deciding the road map of achieving universal health coverage in India. This study is one of the first in its kind which has done costing of public and private healthcare facilities for unit inpatient care in the country. Its relevance becomes even more in the context of strategic purchasing from the private sector, which has been mentioned as one of the important policy directions under National Health Policy-2017.
Objective of this study was to compare the total average cost per episode of hospitalization for public and private healthcare facilities in India.
Highlighting the need of the research, Dr. Alok Ranjan, Assistant Professor, School of Liberal Arts, IIT Jodhpur, said, “Provisioning of inpatient care under public facilities is more cost effective compared to the private sector in India. Therefore, there is an urgent need to invest in public health facilities compared to purchasing it from the private sector.”
This survey was carried out with the support of the State Health Resource Centre, a technical agency working for the Department of Health, Government of Chhattisgarh, in 64 healthcare facilities across the state. The current study found that total cost per hospitalization in private hospitals was several times greater than the public hospitals. This is the first study so far in this field that has empirically presented a comprehensive picture of spending per episode of hospitalization under public and private healthcare facilities in India.
For given fiscal space, investment in public healthcare facilities is vital for achieving universal health coverage in India.