Drastic difference between govt & private hospital expenditure

Post hospitalization, 25 percent in rural and 18 percent urban areas depended on borrowing for meeting their hospital expenses for treating illness

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New Delhi: As per the recent 71st round of National Sample Survey in 2014, the average expenditure per hospitalized treatment is Rs 7,193 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 9,043 in public health facility and Rs 34,662 in private facility.

The average medical expenditure per child birth is Rs 749 in a public facility as against Rs 6,974 in private facility in rural areas. The average medical expenditure per child birth is Rs 948 in a public facility as against Rs 9,106 in private facility in urban areas. The report also indicates that 3 percent 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 percent in rural and 18 percent urban areas depended on borrowing for meeting their hospital expenses for treating illness.

As per the union health ministry, the public health is state subject and hence the primary responsibility to provide medical facilities to poor people at affordable rates lie with the state 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.

As per the National Sample Survey 2014, 25 percent in rural and 18 percent urban areas depended on borrowing for meeting their hospital expenses for treating illness.

The central government says it has already taken steps towards provision of free services for maternal health, child health, adolescent health, family planning, universal immunization program, 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.

The question is whether the concerned sections of society are really aware of these schemes? The release of statistics of who benefitted from the huge numbers of government run programs could provide the answers!