Journal Article

Out-of-pocket nonmedical expenses associated with out-patient treatment of common childhood illnesses

Subhashchandra Daga, Sameer Mhatre and Eric Dsouza

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 61, issue 3, pages 226-228
Published in print June 2015 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online March 2015 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fmv014
Out-of-pocket nonmedical expenses associated with out-patient treatment of common childhood illnesses

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Background: Out-of-pocket expenses, medical and non-medical, have an impoverishing effect on the family.

Objective: Determine non-medical out-of-pocket expenses incurred during out-patient attendance for primary care services.

Methods: A descriptive survey was undertaken at a rural medical college using interviewer-administered questionnaire to parents of children <6 years over a period of 6 weeks. Seventy-six participants were interviewed for collecting demographic data and actual cost on travel and meals.

Results: Median expenditure for travel was Indian rupees (INR) 20 with inter-quartile range (IQR) 14–48 and on food it was INR 110 with IQR 40–155. Median total expenditure on the visit was INR 122 with IQR 61–220. Among those who travelled >5 km, 36% attendance was for respiratory complaints, 27% with fever and as many as 86% for vaccination.

Conclusion: Families in rural India have substantial costs incurred in OPD attendance, most of which is for preventive health care such as immunization.

Keywords: out-of-pocket expenses; non-medical expenses; treatment cost of childhood illnesses; low-cost care of childhood illnesses

Journal Article.  1314 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics

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