Why Do Indian People Avoid Government Doctors?

Debasis Barik, National Council of Applied Economic Research

Although India has an extensive network of public clinics, nearly 75% of the illness episodes are treated by private providers. Research suggests that these private providers are often less qualified than government doctors, making this preference somewhat difficult to understand. Since 2005, government has put in place a massive program known as National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to upgrade the facilities and to increase access to community health workers who are supposed to help patients navigate the medical system. Using data from India Human Development Survey of 2004-5 and 2011-12, this paper examines whether this preference for private providers has changed following the implementation of NRHM. Multilevel analysis has been undertaken to link changes in village level health facilities to changes in preference for private health care providers in high/low/non focused NRHM states.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality