‘Multiple factors responsible for increase in families health expenditure’, say doctors

A Praja Foundation survey of 2016-2017 in Maharashtra, revealed that the average spending on healthcare is 7.8%, while, the overall annual household expenditure on health is 22,460 crores. And even if the expenditure is more than the previous year, doctors inform that patients pay willingly, as it is the matter of their health

Praja Foundation’s project director Milind Mhaske informed us that health expenditure has significantly increased this year, compared to the previous year.  And there can be various reasons for this, for example — many people don’t have medical policies.

Doctors feel that there is a lot of awareness among people regarding health issues. As even if there is a minor doubt, people go in for check-ups, tests and x-rays. Health expenditure has not only increased because of noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, heart attack, kidney failure or brain stroke, but due to the other multiple factors as well.

“Besides noncommunicable diseases, there are other multiple problems like mental health, aging and so on.  Patients end up paying the doctor, labs and the chemist, but the major amount is spent in the medication and not on a doctor.  A patient visits a doctor once in six months, but he ends up spending a lot on tests and the medicines. So according to me, the cost of the medicines should come down. I feel that there should be insurance even if you consult a doctor. And this will be of a huge relief to the patients,” said Dr. Pradeep Gadge, Diabetologist, Gadge Diabetes Centre.

Doctors told that patients pay willingly by saying that they have a medical policy and they are ready to bear the cost. “A patient with any health issue is asked to go for the check-ups and tests by the doctors. Even if the tests are expensive, the doctors ask the patients to do it just for being on a safer side”, informed Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician, Bombay Hospital.

People should opt for medical policies, as it will be helpful for people and reduce their burden, suggested doctors. “Diseases strike you without informing, so people should get their health insurance done,” advised Dr. Narayan Gadkar, Cardiologist, Zen hospital.