ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Utilisation of Health Services

Utilisation of Health Services P Satya Sekhar BRIJESH C PUROHIT and Tasleem A Siddiqui (henceforth P and S) 'Utilisation of Health Services in india', EPW, April 30, 1994) analysed the information on NSSO (1986-87) and NCAER (1990) surveys on the relative levels of utilisation of health facilities, both all-India and across states. I would begin by pointing out that the methodological anomaly of comparing the NSSO survey and NCAER study which are non-comparable. The NSSO study provides data only on the incidence of morbidity whereas the NCAER study covers prevalence of morbidity, and it is well documented in literature that the prevalence rates are significantly higher than the incidence rates. Further, the NCAER study was a one-time study (two weeks prior to the date of interview during May-June 1990) and unlike the NSSO study, it did not consider the possibility of any seasonal variations in the reporting of morbidity levels, Hence the P and S findings of (a) higher preference for indigenous medicine (specifically homoeopathy system) in the NCAER study as compared to a low percentage (below 2 per cent) of the NSSO survey and (b) the low average cost of treatment per illness episode in the NCAER study (which remained around one-fourth of comparable figure from that of NSSO survey) are questionable.

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