71% Mumbai households without medical insurance

MUMBAI: In a survey of 22,850 households by the NGO Praja Foundation across the city’s all 24 wards, it was found that 71% did not have . Each household spent an average of Rs 48,321 on medical expenses annually, rendering them financially weak.

“Out-of-pocket expenses have been responsible for more people sinking below the poverty line,” said Milind Mhaske of Praja. As many as 21% of the respondents said they spent over 11% of their annual income on medical costs.

The survey revealed that the incidence of diseases such as malaria, dengue and even diabetes per 1,000 households was highest among the economically weakest. For instance, 48 people per 1,000 households suffered from malaria in higher economic groups, and 75 in the poorest sections. As many as 67 households out of every 1,000 had a member suffering from diabetes, and 61 from malaria.

“Mumbaikars spend a staggering Rs 13,675 crore on annually. The lowest socioeconomic group is the worst affected,” said Nitai Mehta of Praja.

The survey reveals how despite monetary constraints, private hospitals remain the preferred option for accessing health care. Only 32% respondents said they used public health facilities, while 52% used only private services. Around 16% reported using a combination of both public and private services.

Questioning the political will in ensuring good health for citizens, the survey also highlighted how two councilors who have been members of the BMC’s public health committee have never asked a single question in the civic house in three years. “It shows that elected representatives are not engaged in public health policies,” said Mehta. “It also needs to be seen whether the civic body judiciously uses the Rs 3,360 crore allocated for healthcare in the city.”

Curated From :  71% Mumbai households without medical insurance

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