Health Care Expenditure of Rural Households in Pondicherry, India


  • Poornima Varadarajan Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry, India
  • Lopamudra Moharana Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry, India
  • Murugan Venkatesan Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry, India



Health expenditures, health services needs and demand, India


Background: Shortcomings in healthcare delivery has led people to spend a substantial proportion of their incomes on medical treatment. World Health Organization (2005) estimates reveal that every year 25 million households are forced into poverty by illness and the stru­ggle to pay for healthcare. Thus we planned to calculate the health care expenditure of rural households and to assess the households incurring catastrophic health expenditure.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the service area of Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital from May to August 2011. A total of 100 households from the 4 adjoining villages of our Institute were selec­ted for operational and logistic feasibility. The household’s capacity to pay, out of pocket expenditure and catastrophic health expenditure were calculated. Data collection was done using a pretested questionnaire by the principal investigator and the analysis was done using SPSS (version 16).

Results: The average income in the highest income quintile was Rs 51,885 but the quintile ratio was 14.98. The median subsistence expenditure was Rs 4,520. About 18% of households got impoverished paying for health care. About 81% of households were incurring out of pocket expenditure and 66% were facing catastrophic health expenses of 40%.

Conclusion: There was very high out of pocket spending and a high prevalence of catastrophic expenditure noted. Providing quality care at affordable cost and appropriate risk pooling mechanism are warranted to protect households from such economic threats.


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Author Biography

Poornima Varadarajan, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry, India

Poornima Varadarajan is a 4th year medical student at Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry, India


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How to Cite

Varadarajan, P., Moharana, L., & Venkatesan, M. (2013). Health Care Expenditure of Rural Households in Pondicherry, India. International Journal of Medical Students, 1(2), 74–79.