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Natl Med J India. 2016 Sep-Oct;29(5):267-273.

Access to healthcare among the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states of India: Current status and impeding factors.

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Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667, Uttarakhand, India.



Access to healthcare is crucial for meeting the health needs of Indians. We explored factors impeding access to public sources of healthcare among the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states of India. We also examined the extent to which Indians depend on public and private sources of healthcare in the EAG states.


Our study is based on the unit-level records of 9988 ailing persons, who were surveyed among the EAG states in the 71st round of the National Sample Survey (NSS), conducted during January-June 2014 on the theme 'Social consumption: Health'. To analyse the socioeconomic factors, we did logistic regression using STATA version 12.0.


Despite a vast public health infrastructure in the EAG states, around three-fourths of inpatients are dependent on private sources of healthcare in both rural (70%) and urban (78%) areas. Poor quality and long waiting time in accessing healthcare from public health facilities remain big concerns for inpatients of the EAG states.


To make public health services more accessible, there is a need to improve the quality of services, enlarge infrastructure to reduce waiting time, and enhance the physical reach to inpatients in the EAG states of India. Public health services will then be able to compete with those in the private sector.

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