According to the findings of the National Family Health Survey-5, which were released last week by Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, half of Indian families do not usually seek health care from government health facilities, and nearly half of them do not do so because of the “poor quality of care” at public hospitals.
According to the survey report, the percentage of families that did not utilise a government health facility on a regular basis during 2019–21 was 49.9 percent, which is lower than the 55.1 percent reported in the previous round of NFHS in 2015-16.
During 2019–21, Bihar had the highest proportion of such families (80%), followed by Uttar Pradesh (75%).Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands had the lowest — less than 5%.
While Uttar Pradesh had a minor decrease in the number of households that did not utilise a government facility on a regular basis (from 80.1 percent in 2015-16 to 75 percent in 2019-21), Bihar saw an increase from 77.6 percent to 80.2 percent during the same time period. Aside from Bihar, the percentage of such households increased somewhat in six other states and UTs. The greatest growth was seen in Uttarakhand, where it grew from 50.5 percent in 2015-16 to 55.7 percent in 2019-21.
The NFHS-5 study explains why individuals do not use government health care when they are ill. According to the research, “The most often cited reason for not using government health facilities at the national level is inadequate quality of treatment” (indicated by 48 percent of households that do not normally utilise government facilities),
“The second most often mentioned cause is excessive wait times at government facilities (46 percent), followed by the lack of a nearby government facility (40 percent of households.”
In addition, there has been no decrease in the share of families that do not use government facilities because of the “poor quality care” provided there. According to the NFHS-4 in 2015-16, the main reason for not seeking health care from government health institutions was “poor quality of service.”
According to the most recent study, 46.9 percent of families in urban areas and 51.7 percent in rural regions used the public health sector during 2019–21, while 51.8 percent of households in cities and 46.4 percent in villages used the private health sector.