Skip to main content

India's males spend "much higher" on healthcare than females, says global study

By Our Representative
A recent study on gender disparities in health-care expenditure (HCE) in India, published in “Science Direct”, one of the world's leading source for scientific, technical, and medical research, has said that though globally women live longer than men “because of the biological and behavioral advantages of being a female”, in India “life expectancy gap for females versus males is nearly zero or marginally higher” because of “gender-based discrimination in breastfeeding, food allocation, immunization, access to health-care services, and finance for treatment.”
Authored by scholars Moradhvaja and Nandita Saikiaa, who are with the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria, respectively, the study says, “The in-patient HCE for males is substantially higher than that of females (Rs 23,666 for males versus Rs 16,881 for females).”
Based on an analysis of 35,515 adults who received in-patient care in a survey carried out by the Government of India’s data collection body, National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), the study says, “In-patient health expenditure is higher among males than females irrespective of the type of disease and duration of the stay in the hospital.”
“The amount of healthcare expenditure in hospitalization is systematically higher among male patients than the female patients across the demographic and socio-economic characteristics, although extent of this difference varies from one group to another. On average, health care expenditure on men is about Rs 8,397 more than that of women.”
Noting that there is “absence of gender difference in health care expenditure only in case of communicable diseases”, the study finds, “Average healthcare expenditure towards doctor fee, medicine costs, diagnostic test costs, and other medical items for inpatients are invariably higher among the males compared to females”, adding, “The result indicates that females are facing discriminatory behaviour in healthcare spending for inpatient care.”
According to the study, “The percentage of females hospitalized with income or savings as health care finance is higher than that of males (51.02% vs 45.73%)”, but “the percentage of males hospitalized with distressed financing is higher than that of females irrespective of background characteristics.”
Stating that “as level of education increases, the percentage share of HCF through current income or savings increases as well”, the study says, “While there is no substantial difference in the HCF pattern between in-patients belonging to the Hindu and Muslim religions, the percentage of distressed financing is less among in-patients belonging to other religions.”
“The probability of using distressed sources for HCF decreases among inpatients aged 60 and above”, the study says, adding, “This implies that households avoid using distressed resources to provide in-patient care for older age groups.” ;
The study finds that “rural Indian households are more likely to pay in-patient care costs through borrowing, sale of assets, and contributions from friends and relatives compared to their urban counterparts.”
It adds, “The education level of the head of the household has a significant effect on sources of finance for health-care. Lack of formal education of the household head is consistently shown to have higher chances of meeting HCF from borrowing, selling assets, or a combination of all these sources, whereas an educated head of household has a lower chance of borrowing, selling assets, and asking for contributions rather than using current income/savings.”
The study says, “In-patients belonging to deprived castes such as SC/ST, tend to finance in-patient care from borrowing, sale of assets, and contributions from relatives, rather than using income/savings. Like-wise, poorer households are more likely to borrow for in-patient care than richer households. Households with higher dependency ratios are more likely to finance in-patient care through sale of assets and contributions from friends than from income/savings.”
“Patients hospitalized for the treatment of non-communicable and other diseases, have a greater chance of borrowing and selling assets than those undergoing treatment for communicable diseases”, says the study, adding, “Longer periods of hospitalization lead to borrowing and sale of assets, alongside seeking help from friends and relatives.”
It underlines, “Patients using a private facility have a greater chance of resorting to distressed financing than paying through current income/savings, compared to those using a public facility. As the doctors’ fees and transportation costs increase, the chances of using distressed resources for HCF also increase.”
“It is important to note that as age increases, the probability of using ‘borrowing’ as a source of HCF decreases continuously for both genders, yet the gap between the genders is notable. Females have a lower chance of paying for hospitalization through the sale of assets and contributions from relatives. In contrast, the chance of borrowing for men’s health care increases with the onset of adulthood, and declines once a man becomes old”, the study says.
Study says, “Only 27% of Indian women are engaged in paid jobs, and the rest are involved in unpaid household chores and care-giving, that is, non-economic activities. Since household chores and care-giving do not yield direct economic benefits, the relative importance of women’s health is underestimated.”

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Khorigaon demolition: People being 'brutally' evicted, cops 'restricting' food, water

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai* On July 23, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres. Despite the affidavit of the Municipal Corporation, the court, on the complaint of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food etc. have not been made for the people.