45+ patients’ private hospital spend in Karnataka 2nd highest in country | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The out-of-pocket expenditure of patients aged 45 and above in the private healthcare sector in Karnataka is the second highest in the country when it comes to in-patient service.
As per the recently released Longitudinal Ageing Survey in India (Wave I), a 45-plus patient would have spent Rs 1.25 lakh for an in-patient admission in a private hospital in Karnataka. It is Rs 1.27 lakh in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the highest in India.

The lowest mean expenditure is reported in Chandigarh (Rs 13,448), followed by Haryana (Rs 19,302), and Chhattisgarh (Rs 19,848).
The survey was conducted between April 2017 and December 2018 and covered 72,250 adults aged 45 years and above. The comprehensive report was released by Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday. The surveyors had asked the respondents what was their private/public hospitalisation expenditure during the year prior to the survey for in-patient treatment.
The survey said just 18.2% of those aged 60 years have insurance cover in India: It’s more in rural areas (21%) than in urban clusters (19%). Overall, 21% of those aged 45 years and above are covered by health insurance.
Doc: Age alone shouldn’t be criterion for insurance
This was one of the most-needed and comprehensive reports. Cardiovascular diseases are the biggest reason for hospitalisation among the elderly. Fall and fracture are the other common causes. Also, many geriatric patients seek treatment for viral or bacterial infection, communicable disease and, in the course of hospitalisation, other underlying non-communicable diseases get diagnosed,” said Dr Anoop Amarnath, a leading geriatrician in Karnataka.
According to Dr Amarnath, there is a need to address the issue of difficulties in elderly citizens obtaining individual health insurance cover. “What leads to out-of-pocket expenditure is the lack of insurance coverage. But it is very difficult to get individual insurance cover for someone aged 70. Age alone should not be a criterion for health insurance cover,” he said.
“The reason why out-of-pocket expenditure is more for the public health sector in Delhi could be because premier government-run hospitals like AIIMS are in Delhi. In places like Bengaluru where private healthcare sector is predominantly present, the expenditure will be more in the private health sector,” said an expert closely working with the state government.
Experts said the report lacks specifics. “The cost of hospitalisation always depends on the nature of illness and number of days,” said a member of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association. “Going by the report, the outof-pocket expenditure is high in states — Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands — which have very few private hospitals. Karnataka’s situation is not the same. It’s not clear why there’s a big difference between Karnataka (Rs 1.3 lakh) and Maharashtra (Rs 24,883),” said a government officer who has worked with costing procedure in hospitals.

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Sagar Biswas

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