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

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Measuring Catastrophic Healthcare Expenditure

Catastrophic household healthcare expenditure is a prominent policy concern. The National Health Policy 2017 takes explicit cognisance of this issue and presents an empirical formulation to examine its incidence and patterns. However, the policy needs to account for household size variations to counter an implicit bias that tilts the estimates to reflect a higher concentration of catastrophic expenditure among the rich. This concern is illustrated using health data from the 71st round of the National Sample Survey. Further, a minor modification to unravel the socio-economic gradient in catastrophic healthcare expenditure has also been discussed.

Affordability is a key principle under the National Health Policy 2017 (NHP) of India. The NHP states that,

As costs of care increases, affordability, as distinct from equity, requires emphasis. Catastrophic household healthcare expenditures defined as health expenditure exceeding 10% of its total monthly consumption expenditure or 40% of its monthly non-food consumption expenditure, are unacceptable. (GoI 2017: 2)

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Updated On : 24th Jun, 2020

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