Out-of-pocket expenditure and correlates of caesarean births in public and private health centres in India

from Social Science & Medicine at http://bit.ly/2CSBSJ7 on January 31, 2019 at 10:06AM

Publication date: Available online 31 January 2019

Source: Social Science & Medicine

Author(s): Sanjay K. Mohanty, Basant K. Panda, Pijush Kanti Khan, Priyamadhaba Behera


Increasing caesarean births is a global trends and of recent origin in India. Besides its utility and disutility, increasing caesarean births exerts higher economic burden on households and the nation. Using 148,746 births from the National Family Health Survey, 2015–16, this paper examines the correlates and provides comparable estimates of out of pocket expenditure (OOPE) on caesarean births in public and private health centres in India. The monthly state specific rural-urban consumer price index and the OOPE on births over seven years are used to derive comparable OOPE estimate at 2016 prices. A composite variable combining type of birth and place of delivery is computed and classified as private and caesarean, public and caesarean, private and non-caesarean, public and non-caesarean. Descriptive statistics, logistic and tobit regression model were used to understand the differentials and determinants of OOPE on caesarean births.

Caesarean births were significantly higher among mothers belonging to higher socioeconomic status, first order births, mothers with high BMI, pregnancy complications, repeat caesarean and in private health centres confirming that both maternal demand and institutional factors are leading to the increasing in caesarean rates in India. The mean OOPE of caesarean births in public health centres of poorer states was higher than that in the richer states of India (US$107 in low performing states compared to US$88 in high performing states). Such differentials across private health centres are small. The marginal effect of a caesarean birth in private health centres in low performing states was US$296 dollar higher than that of non-caesarean births.

Improving the public health centres for conducting caesarean births, developing standard guideline for clinical practices in conducting caesarean births and creating awareness on comprehensive pregnancy care can reduce the caesarean rates and OOPE on caesarean birth in India.