Short but not sweet - new evidence on short duration morbidities from India
India spends 6 percent of its GDP on health-three times the amount spent by Indonesia and twice that of China-and spending on non-chronic morbidities is three times that of chronic illnesses. It is normally assumed that the high spending on non-chronic illnesses reflects the prevalence of morbidities with high case-fatality or case-disability ratios. But there is little data that can be used to separate out spending by type of illness. The authors address this issue with a unique dataset where 1,621 individuals in Delhi were observed for 16 weeks through detailed weekly interviews on morbidity and health-seeking behavior. The authors'findings are surprising and contrary to the normal view of health spending. They define a new class of illnesses as"short duration morbidities"if they are classified as non-chronic in the international classification of disease and are medically expected to last less than two weeks. The authors show that short duration morbidities are important in terms of prevalence, practitioner visits, and household health expenditure: Individuals report a short duration morbidity in one out of every five weeks. Moreover, one out of every three weeks reported with a short duration morbidity results in a doctor visit, and each week sick with such a morbidity increases health expenditure by 25 percent. Further, the absolute spending on short duration morbidities is similar across poor and rich income households. The authors discuss the implications of these findings in understanding household health behavior in an urban context, with special emphasis on the role of information in health-seeking behavior.
|Date of creation:||28 Feb 2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kamat, Vinay R., 1995. "Reconsidering the popularity of primary health centers in India: A case study from rural Maharashtra," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 87-98, July.
- Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 2002.
"Insuring Consumption Against Illness,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 51-70, March.
- Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," NBER Working Papers 6035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 1998. "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," JCPR Working Papers 41, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Saradamma, Rema Devi & Higginbotham, Nick & Nichter, Mark, 2000. "Social factors influencing the acquisition of antibiotics without prescription in Kerala State, south India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 891-903, March.
- Schultz, T. Paul & Tansel, Aysit, 1997. "Wage and labor supply effects of illness in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana: instrumental variable estimates for days disabled," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 251-286, August.
- Schultz, T-P, 1996. "Wage and Labor Supply effects of Illness in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana : Instrumental Variable Estimates for Days Disabled," Papers 757, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Foster, Andrew D, 1994. "Poverty and Illness in Low-Income Rural Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 216-220, May.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 103-114, Summer.
- Morduch, J., 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Papers 512, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Dow, W & Gertly, P & Schoeni, R-F & Strauss, J & Thomas, D, 1997. "Health Care Prices, Health and Labor Outcomes : Experimental Evidence," Papers 97-01, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
- Richard G. Frank & Paul J. Gertler, 1987. "The Effect of Mental Distress on Income: Results from a Community Survey," NBER Working Papers 2433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)