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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-28

Catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment effects of out-of-pocket expenses: A comparative study of tannery and non-tannery workers of Kanpur, India

Department of Mathematical Demography and Statistics, International Institute for Population Sciences, Deonar, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Santosh K Sharma
International Institute for Population Sciences, Govandi Station Road, Deonor, Mumbai - 400 088, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_168_17

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Purpose: Treatment-seeking behaviors and economic burden because of health expenditure are widely discussed issues in India, and more so in recent times. The aim of this study is to identify health problems of tannery workers and their treatment-seeking behavior and their health expenditure. Data and Methods: The primary data used in this article were collected through a cross-sectional household survey of 284 male tannery workers in the Jajmau area of Kanpur city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, during January–June 2015. Results: Findings of the study revealed that around 36% of the tannery workers and 42% of non-tannery workers received treatment as outpatients in government/municipal hospital in the first spell of treatment. The secondary source of treatment was pharmacy/drug stores for 30% of the tannery workers and 24% of the non-tannery workers, an indication that a substantial proportion takes treatment without consulting a qualified medical practitioner; it also highlights that almost one-third of the tannery and non-tannery workers visited private health facility despite poor economic condition. It is evident that a substantial proportion of tannery and non-tannery workers are visiting private/non-governmental organization/trust hospital despite their poor financial situation. Conclusion: There is an urgent need to reinstate people's faith in public health facilities by developing professionalism, integrity, and accountability among different levels of health functionaries and frontline workers with the support of credible, transparent, and responsible regulatory environment.


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