About a quarter of all rural households and one in five urban families in India are forced into debt or sale of assets to meet hospitalisation costs. This is true across income levels, revealed the National Health Profile 2017 published recently by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence.
In rural India, about two-thirds—ranging from 65.6% in the poorest to 68% for the richest—depend on household income or savings, while 27% of the poorest household and 23% of the richest households depend on borrowings for hospitalisation costs. In urban India, 68% of the poorest and about 80% of the most well-off households depend on their own income and savings, reported Times of India.
As households become richer, the reliance on borrowings goes down from 22% among the poorest to 14% among the richest. In rural India, about 1% whether rich or poor meet hospitalisation costs by selling assets. This is negligible among urban households. Roughly 5% of rural and urban households are helped by friends and relatives to meet the cost.
The data on hospitalisation was from the health expenditure survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation from January 2013 to June 2014.