Updated: July 1, 2015 7:33:15 am
A health survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) shows that more people fall ill in urban areas compared to rural India. During a 15-day reference period, 89 per 1,000 persons reported sick in rural India against 118 persons in urban areas. The survey also reaffirmed the fact that the lion’s share of the country’s health burden is still shouldered by the private sector, with more than 70 per cent spells of ailment (72 per cent in the rural areas and 79 per cent in the urban areas) being treated by the private sector.
Despite a separate ministry to promote alternative medicine, allopathy still rules the roost in the country as more than 90 per cent of urban and rural population prefer that treatment.
NSSO, which is under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, has released the key indicators of Social Consumption in India: Health — generated from data collected during the period January to June 2014 in its 71st round survey.
One of the vital components of the survey was dedicated to collecting information relevant for determination of the prevalence rate of different diseases among various age-sex groups in different regions of the country.
The indicators are based on the central sample consisting of 4,577 villages in rural areas and 3,720 urban blocks spread over all states and union territories of India. The total number of households, in which the schedule was canvassed, were 36,480 in rural India and 29,452 in urban India. Medical treatment of an ailing person as an in-patient in any medical institution was considered as hospitalised treatment.
In the urban population, 4.4 per cent patients were hospitalised at some time during a reference period of 365 days. The proportion of persons hospitalised in rural areas was lower (3.5 per cent).
In rural India, 42 per cent hospital treatment was carried out in a public hospital and rest, 58 per cent, in a private hospital. For urban India, the corresponding figures were 32 per cent and 68 per cent. For each hospitalised case, higher amount was spent for treatment by people in the private hospitals (Rs 25,850) than in the public hospitals (Rs 6,120). The highest expenditure was recorded for treatment of cancer (Rs 56,712) followed by that for cardio-vascular diseases (Rs 31,647). The average medical expenditure per non-hospitalisation case was Rs 509 in rural India and Rs 639 in urban India.
Worryingly, about 86 per cent of rural population and 82 per cent of urban population are still not covered under any health expenditure support scheme.
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