Jodhpur: The Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur (IIT Jodhpur) researcher gave a comparative study on how much do government and households spend on an episode of hospitalisation 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 hospitalisation in private hospitals than in 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 Programme Coordinator, SHRC; and Kirtti Kumar Bebarta, Programme Associate, SHRC.
The average total spending per day of hospitalisation in India was found to be Rs 2833 for public hospitals and Rs 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 for achieving universal health coverage in India. This study is one of the first in its kind which has done the 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 the National Health Policy 2017.
The objective of this study was to compare the total average cost per episode of hospitalisation for public and private healthcare facilities in India. Highlighting the need for the research, Dr Ranjan said, “Provisioning of inpatient care under public facilities are more cost effective compared to private sector in India. Therefore, there is an urgent need to invest in public health facilities compared to purchasing it from 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 the total cost per hospitalisation 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 hospitalisation 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.