The primary objective of this study is to estimate the expenditure in primary (outpatient) care incurred by leprosy patients in two different health system settings in India. The secondary objective is to compare the effect of the health systems on consumer behaviour and practices.
The study followed a cross-sectional design, where a cohort from the Union Territory of DNH (an administrative division ruled directly by the federal government) was compared with a cohort from Umbergaon block of Valsad district, Gujarat, India. A block is the smallest administrative unit under a district. The cohorts were leprosy cases detected between April 2015 and March, 2016. A sample of 120 participants from each group was selected randomly. In the financial year of 2015–16, DNH reported 425 and Umbergaon reported 287 cases.
A household survey was conducted between June and October, 2016 by means of a structured questionnaire collecting data on patient demographics, HH socioeconomic status, accessibility of health services, treatment seeking history and OPD expenditure. Respondents were asked to report on the last three OPD visits, either in a public or private facility, in the last 6 months.
The costs were categorized as direct and indirect expenditure. The direct part included the expenditure on consultation, investigations and medicines & supplies. The indirect part constituted expenditure on transport, food, and days lost during illness of the patient and attendant
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, January 4, 2018