Hospitalisation cost in private several times greater than public hospitals, says IIT Jodhpur study

New Delhi: The government and households have together spent substantially more per hospitalisation in private hospitals than in public hospitals, according to a recent study conducted by The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur. The average total spending per day of hospitalisation in India was found to be Rs 2,833 for public hospitals and Rs 6,788 for private hospitals.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur research gave a comparative study on how much the government and households spend on an episode of hospitalisation during their visit to public and private healthcare facilities in India. 

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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 Program Coordinator, SHRC; and Kirtti Kumar Bebarta, Program Associate, SHRC.

The average total spending per day of hospitalisation in India was found to be Rs 2,833 for public hospitals and Rs 6,788 for private hospitals, added IIT Jodhpur statement.

The results of this research were published in the Health Economics Review journal.

IIT Jodhpur further said that 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 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 National Health Policy-2017”, IIT Jodhpur added.

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 Alok Ranjan, Assistant Professor, School of Liberal Arts, IIT Jodhpur, said, “Provisioning of inpatient care under public facilities are more cost-effective compared to the private sector in India. Therefore, there is an urgent need to invest in public health facilities compared to purchasing it from the 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 total cost per hospitalization 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” IIT Jodhpur said in a statement.

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