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New Delhi, India

Binnendijk E.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Koren R.,Tel Aviv University | Dror D.M.,Micro Insurance Academy
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2012

Objective Non-communicable diseases (NCD) are on the increase in low-income countries, where healthcare costs are paid mostly out-of-pocket. We investigate the financial burden of NCD vs. communicable diseases (CD) among rural poor in India and assess whether they can afford to treat NCD. Methods We used data from two household surveys undertaken in 2009-2010 among 7389 rural poor households (39205 individuals) in Odisha and Bihar. All persons from the sampled households, irrespective of age and gender, were included in the analysis. We classify self-reported illnesses as NCD, CD or 'other morbidities' following the WHO classification. Results Non-communicable diseases accounted for around 20% of the diseases in the month preceding the survey in Odisha and 30% in Bihar. The most prevalent NCD, representing the highest share in outpatient costs, were musculoskeletal, digestive and cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular and digestive problems also generated the highest inpatient costs. Women, older persons and less-poor households reported higher prevalence of NCD. Outpatient costs (consultations, medicines, laboratory tests and imaging) represented a bigger share of income for NCD than for CD. Patients with NCD were more likely to report a hospitalisation. Conclusion Patients with NCD in rural poor settings in India pay considerably more than patients with CD. For NCD cases that are chronic, with recurring costs, this would be aggravated. The cost of NCD care consumes a big part of the per person share of household income, obliging patients with NCD to rely on informal intra-family cross-subsidisation. An alternative solution to finance NCD care for rural poor patients is needed. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Dixit S.,Micro Insurance Academy | Panda P.,Micro Insurance Academy
International Journal of Geoinformatics | Year: 2013

Most of the cluster randomized controlled trials (CRCTs) are conducted in a geographical area, but the present CRCT evaluation model does not capture "place" component. CRCTs reported without providing the information on spatio-temporal changes taking place at the experiment site, during the course of intervention, present only a part of the picture and also pose a great difficulty in finding out causal relationship between the intervention and outcome. We conclude that a complete evaluation model should have tools to capture people, place and time. Usually, "people" are captured using quantitative tools and "time" component is taken using different waves of data collection, "place" dimension needs to be integrated to make CRCT evaluation more comprehensive and effective. This research article reports the spatial methodological protocol followed in a project that assesses the impact of community-based health insurance schemes in rural India and demonstrates various advantages of incorporating spatial tools in the evaluation model. Results highlight the potential for applying this methodology in other studies. © Geoinforniatics International.

Ranga V.,Micro Insurance Academy | Panda P.,Micro Insurance Academy
Geospatial Health | Year: 2014

Access to health care in rural areas is a major concern for local populations as well as for policy makers in developing countries. This paper examines spatial access to in-patient health care in northern rural India. In order to measure spatial access, impedance-based competition using the Three-Step floating Catchment Area (3SFCA) method, a modification of the simple gravity model, was used. 3SFCA was chosen for the study of the districts of Pratapgarh and Kanpur Dehat in the Uttar Pradesh state and Vaishali in the Bihar state, two of India's poorest states. This approach is based on discrete distance decay and also considers more parameters than other available methods, hence is believed to be a robust methodology. It was found that Vaishali district has the highest spatial access to in-patient health care followed by Pratapgarh and Kanpur Dehat. There is serious lack of health care, in Pratapgarh and Kanpur Dehat with 40% and 90% of the villages having shortage of in-patient care facilities in these respective districts. The most important factor affecting spatial access was found to be the distance to the nearest major urban agglomeration.

May C.,University of Cologne | Roth K.,University of Cologne | Panda P.,Micro Insurance Academy
BMC Health Services Research | Year: 2014

Background: In 2005, the Indian government launched the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to improve the quality of and access to rural public health care. Despite these efforts, recent evidence shows that the rural poor continue to primarily consult private non-degree allopathic practitioners (NDAPs) for acute illness episodes. To examine this phenomenon, we explore the rural poor's perception and utilization of the rural health care system and the role and accessibility of NDAPs therein. Methods. Our study is based on qualitative data from focus group discussions conducted in three rural districts in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, two high-focus states of the NRHM in northern India, in 2009/2010. Our study population consists of female micro-credit self-help group members and their male household heads. We apply a directed content analysis and use a theoretical framework to differentiate between physical, financial and cultural access to care. Results: Our study population distinguishes between "home treatment" (informal self-care), "local treatment" (formally unqualified care) and "outside treatment" (formally qualified care). Because of their proximity, flexible payment options and familiarity with patients' belief systems, among other things, local NDAPs are physically, financially and culturally accessible. They are usually the first contact points for patients before turning to qualified practitioners, and treat minor illnesses, provide first relief, refer patients to other providers and administer formally prescribed treatments. Conclusion: Our findings are similar for all three study sites and reinforce recent findings from southern and eastern India. The poor's understanding and utilization of the rural health system deviates from governmental ideas. Because of their embeddedness in the community, private NDAPs are the most accessible medical providers and first contact points for acute illness episodes. Thus, they de-facto fulfill the role envisaged by the Indian government for accredited social health activists introduced as part of the NRHM. We conclude that instead of trying to replace NDAPs with public initiatives, the Indian government should regulate, qualify and integrate them as part of the existing public health care system. This way, we argue, India can improve the rural poor's access to formally qualified practitioners. © 2014 May et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Binnendijk E.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Dror D.M.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Dror D.M.,Micro Insurance Academy | Koren R.,Tel Aviv University
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2013

Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) (a.k.a. micro health insurance) is a contributory health insurance among rural poor in developing countries. As CBHI schemes typically function with no subsidy income, the schemes' expenditures cannot exceed their premium income. A good estimate of Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) among the target population affiliating on a voluntary basis is therefore essential for package design. Previous estimates of WTP reported materially and significantly different WTP levels across locations (even within one state), making it necessity to base estimates on household surveys. This is time-consuming and expensive. This study seeks to identify a coherent anchor for local estimation of WTP without having to rely on household surveys in each CBHI implementation. Using data collected in 2008-2010 among rural poor households in six locations in India (total 7874 households), we found that in all locations WTP expressed as percentage of income decreases with household income. This reminds of Engel's law on food expenditures. We checked several possible anchors: overall income, discretionary income and food expenditures. We compared WTP expressed as percentage of these anchors, by calculating the Coefficient of Variation (for inter-community variation) and Concentration indices (for intra-community variation). The Coefficient of variation was 0.36, 0.43 and 0.50 for WTP as percent of food expenditures, overall income and discretionary income, respectively. In all locations the concentration index for WTP as percentage of food expenditures was the lowest. Thus, food expenditures had the most consistent relationship with WTP within each location and across the six locations. These findings indicate that like food, health insurance is considered a necessity good even by people with very low income and no prior experience with health insurance. We conclude that the level of WTP could be estimated based on each community's food expenditures, and that this information can be obtained everywhere without having to conduct household surveys. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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