An Indian pays two times higher hospitalisation cost if he or she chooses a private hospital over a government facility for treatment of a similar health condition, a study has revealed.
As per the study conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur, the average total spending per day of hospitalisation in India was found to be ₹2833 for public hospitals and ₹6788 for private hospitals.
The results of the study were published in the international peer-reviewed journal Health Economics Review. The comparative study was carried out in Chhattisgarh by IIT Jodhpur assistant professor Dr Alok Ranjan along with state health resource centre (SHRC) executive director Dr Samir Garg. SHRC’s senior program coordinator Narayan Tripathi and programme associate Kirtti Kumar Bebarta also contributed to it.
“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,” said IIT Jodhpur’s Dr Ranjan.
“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.”
The study provides evidence of what activists have been arguing for a long – that provisioning of inpatient care in government-run facilities is more cost-effective compared to the private sector in the country.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need to invest in public health facilities compared to purchasing it from the private sector,” said Dr Ranjan who teaches at the school of liberal arts at IIT Jodhpur.
The IIT said that the survey was conducted with the support of the state health resource centre, a technical agency working for the Department of Health of the Chhattisgarh government in 64 healthcare facilities across the state.
“This is the first study so far in this field that has empirically presented a comprehensive picture of spending per episode of hospitalisation under public and private healthcare facilities in India,” another researcher associated with the study said.