Financial Burden of Out-of-Pocket Expenditures for Primary Health Care in Hilly Areas of Garhwal Region, Uttarakhand, North India LC08-LC11
Dr. B Venkatashiva Reddy,
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Government
Medical Sciences and Research Institute, Garhwal-246174, Uttrakhand, India.
Introduction: High total health expenditures via Out-of-Pocket (OOP) as formal user fees and informal payments put India in challenging situation to achieve towards universal health coverage.
Aim: To assess the (OOP) expenditure and its determinants among outpatient in primary care settings of Uttarakhand, North India.
Materials and Methods: A hospital based cross-sectional study was conducted in a Outpatient Department of Urban Health Training Centre, Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India and Rural Health Training Centre, Kritinagar, Uttarakhand in 2015. A total of 200 patients were enrolled in the study using random sampling. Questionnaire covering costs like: travel cost, drug cost, investigation cost, and others was used for measuring OOP expenditure incurred toward health care by patients.
Results: Of the total 200 patients, 43.5% were males and 56.5% were females with mean age 40.36 (SD 19.45) in years. Average annual family income was 11718.5 INR+13457.3 INR. Of the total study subjects, 42.5% were unskilled or had no occupation (unemployed, student, and homemaker). The majority (68.5%) had travelled less than or equal to 10 km to reach the health facility. About 50% of the study subjects presented with communicable diseases and 20% with non-communicable diseases. The health expenditure of the outpatient revealed that major part of the expenditure is the direct cost of the treatment, including registration fee, drugs, and investigation. Mean OOP expenditure for drugs and investigations was 509 INR and 673.1 INR, respectively. Mean total out-of-patient expenditure was 303.1 INR. The proportion of monthly family income spent on out-of-patient expenditure was 2.58%.
Conclusion: The implementation of primary health care needs to be further strengthened in order to improve access of public sector hospitals for curative care.