Over 60 pc people from rural areas go out of state for better medical treatment Study

New Delhi, Aug 2 (PTI) More than 60 per cent of people from rural areas chose to "migrate" out of their state for availing treatment for major diseases, according to a report.
    The 'State of Healthcare in Rural India-2023' study had 6,478 respondents, 75 per cent men and 25 per cent women, across six regions -- north, south, northeast, east, central and west.
    The report also stated that at an all-India aggregate, a little over 10 per cent of rural India went to a public primary healthcare facility for serious ailments.
    The majority used government-run secondary-level facilities (around 60 per cent), about 22 per cent went to a private facility, mostly hospitals, and just over five per cent consulted a private medical practitioner, the study by Transform Rural India and Sambodhi Research Pvt Ltd found.
    People in northeastern states have the highest preference for "migration" for health facilities and 84 per cent respondents in this region said they would go out of their states in search of better medical treatment, it stated.
    The percentage for the eastern region was 66 and for the central region 61 with respondents expressing similar intentions, the report stated.
    On the contrary, more than two-third of the respondents from the south region felt no need to "migrate out" for treatment, it stated.
    The all-India level findings of the report showed that "almost 63 per cent of people from rural areas chose to migrate out of their state for availing treatment for major diseases".
    The report stated that "at the same time, a large majority of participants, accounting for more than 90 per cent, had expressed a preference for moving to a different district within their state rather than to a different state when faced with a serious illness".
    It stated that "among those with chronically ill household members, the driving factor for going out of state for treatment was the destination having better treatment facilities".
    For those without any chronically ill members at home, the majority did so because of a referral given from the place they were receiving treatment, the study found.
    It stated that among the households that "migrated out of their home district for treatment, 51.6 per cent of the households spent less than Rs 25,000 and about 25 per cent spent between Rs 25,001 and Rs 50,000".
    The report stated that according to income categories, nearly two-third of the respondents in the lower-income group prefer to go to a public secondary-level facility as compared to just over 15 per cent who preferred private hospitals.
    It also showed that around 58 per cent of rural India rarely depend on home-based traditional medicine. Nearly one in three people use home-based care or traditional medicine in selective and specific cases, while just over nine per cent did so with some degree of regularity, the report stated.
    "It is evident that there are no alternatives to improved, modernised and transformed healthcare services at primary level with a specific focus on under-developed regions to improve patient satisfaction and reducing the need of long-distance travel for treatment," Shyamal Santra, associate director for public health and nutrition, Transform Rural India, said.

The report was prepared by the Development Intelligence Unit (DIU), a collaboration between Transform Rural India and Sambodhi Research Pvt. Ltd.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)