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Demand for primary healthcare in rural north India

  • Richard Andrew Iles

India's dynamic primary healthcare market is dominated, in rural north India, by the private sector that operates alongside a weak government system. The Indian healthcare market, in theory, offers several systems of medicine, a variance in the level of provider qualifications and incorporates both the formal and informal provider markets. However, in practice in rural north India, consumers have limited effective choice. A major constraint on our understanding of the rural north Indian primary healthcare market is the lack of data and analysis of consumers' preferences for unqualified doctors. This study estimates consumer demand for private unqualified and qualified 'doctors' and government doctors in three districts of India's largest state--Uttar Pradesh--for the treatment of mild to severe fever. Results demonstrate that unqualified 'doctor' services are normal goods and that government doctor utilization may be improved by increasing user fees to enable reduced patient travel distances.

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Paper provided by Job Market Papers in its series 2013 Papers with number pil50.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:jmp:jm2013:pil50
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