New Delhi: The cost of health care has gone up by 22 times in rural areas over the last seven years, a study said Wednesday.
"In an average data collection on the cost of treatment at both private and public hospitals, the cost of treatment has shot up by 22 times in rural areas," the study by non-governmental organisation Prayas said.
Conducted across six states of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Assam, Jharkhand, and Bihar, it surveyed the cost of treatment among 2,723 households in 140 villages.
"The study aimed at finding how much of the cost of treatment is given by the patient himself. This is when the hike in cost of treatment was observed, thanks to factors such as inflation, privatisation, and even the failure of social schemes," said Avinash Kumar, essential services lead specialist, Oxfam India.
"In the urban areas, the hike is somewhere around 40 times as hopes are more on private healthcare," Kumar added.
The study took both hospitalised and non-hospitalised treatment into account, including the cost of diagnostics, hospitalisation, and medicines.