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More than 80% of people lack health cover

July 24, 2015

More than 80% of Indians lack medical insurance cover, though there is expected to be increasing reliance on more expensive private healthcare for their medical needs..

Almost 86% of the rural population and 82% of the urban population are not covered by any scheme of health expenditure support, according to a report in the Deccan Herald citing the National Sample Survey Office which polled more than 333,000 people in a recent survey. The government was able to bring only about 12% urban and 13% rural population under its health protection scheme, the Rastriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and similar plans. .

In the absence of health insurance, 75% of people tap into their hard-earned savings while more than 18% borrow. “The private sector provides nearly 80% of outpatient and 60% of inpatient care. But the cost of private-sector health care is unaffordable for most Indians,” said Mr K Srinath Reddy, President of the Public Health Foundation of India. NSSO found that while private health care is four times more expensive than in government-run medical institutions, treatment of specific diseases costs four, five or even 10 times more in private hospitals.

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