Out-of-pocket spending on out-patient care in India: Assessment and options based on results from a district level survey

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Abstract

Out-of-pocket spending at out-patient departments (OPD) by households is relatively less analyzed compared to hospitalization expenses in India. This paper provides new evidence on the levels and drivers of expenditure on out-patient care, as well as choice of providers, using household survey data from 8 districts in 3 states of India. Results indicate that the economically vulnerable spend more on OPD as a proportion of per capita consumption expenditure, out-patient care remains overwhelmingly private and switches of providers-while not very prevalent-is mostly towards private providers. A key result is that choice of public providers tend to lower OPD spending significantly. It indicates that an improvement in the overall quality and accessibility of government facilities still remain an important tool that should be considered in the context of financial protection.

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Gupta, I., Chowdhury, S., Prinja, S., & Trivedi, M. (2016). Out-of-pocket spending on out-patient care in India: Assessment and options based on results from a district level survey. PLoS ONE, 11(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166775

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