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SPEAKING FOR MYSELF
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 348-351

Errors of inclusion and exclusion in income-based provisioning of public healthcare: Problems associated with below poverty line cards


1 Center for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India
2 Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India

Correspondence Address:
Anoop Saraya
Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.239080

This study examined the effect of out-of-pocket expenditure of patients on their illness and other household changes impacting on their well-being, and assessed the socioeconomic status and below poverty line (BPL) card status among patients at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. We did a hospital-based cross-sectional study of 374 inpatients and outpatients. Among the 374 study subjects, more than 69% of poor did not possess a BPL card. On the other hand, 5.5% of the above poverty line patients among the respondents possessed a BPL card. Of those having BPL cards, 84.4% belonged either to the lower middle, upper lower and lower socioeconomic status categories. Our data suggest that the inaccuracies in providing BPL cards limit access of the genuine poor to healthcare. In the light of national-level surveys on accessing healthcare and out-of-pocket expenditure by patients there is a case against ‘targeting’ in the delivery of public health services and user charges have an adverse impact on access to healthcare by the poor.


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