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Utilization of Public Health Services in India: Evidence from National Family Health Survey
Authors: Jitendra Gupta, Devarupa Gupta, and Ajay Gupta
Source: Demography India, 49(1): 91-111
Topic(s): Health care utilization
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2020
Abstract: Abstract: Inferring universal health coverage is an essential sustainable goal for countries to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being. The supply of the public facilities is never adequate to meet the growing demand in developing countries. However, the greater problem arises when the existing infrastructure is even less accessed. This study tried to highlight the underutilization of public health facilities in India both in the rural and urban areas and explored the reasons behind this situation. Poor quality of care and unavailability of health centres nearby were major concerns in the villages. The decisive factors in the urban areas were inconvenient timings of check-up and long waiting time. Highly educated heads and wealthier households preferred treatments in non-public health facilities. Increment in ANC4+ visit and institutional deliveries was noticed for all states of the country over ten years. Nevertheless, utilization of public health facility decreased with higher the mother’s education. Health insurance scheme coverage was fairly low. Utilization of health care services not only differed according to the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of individuals but also on the accessibility and quality of the available services in a region. The government must understand this ground level reality before implementing new policies. Keywords: Universal Health Care, underutilization of public health services and impediments to accessibility