Given India’s healthcare spending is close to just 3% of the GDP, and its health-insurance density (premium per person) is 5%, out-of-pocket expenditure remains high, at 55%.
This is significantly higher than the average for lower-middle income countries, and is amongst the highest in the world.
Thus, many spend their life-savings to meet treatment costs and slip into poverty because of the exorbitant healthcare expenditures in the private sector.
Almost 60% of all hospitalisations, and 70% of out-patient services are catered for by the private sector.
Even those who have insurance cover under-estimate health risks and do not purchase adequate health insurance.