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WHO South East Asia J Public Health. 2015 Jan-Jun;4(1):69-77. doi: 10.4103/2224-3151.206624.

Innovative social protection mechanism for alleviating catastrophic expenses on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Chhattisgarh, India.

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World Health Organization Country Office for India, New Delhi, India.
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna and Mukhyamantri Swasthya Bima Yojana, State Nodal Agency, Directorate of Health Services; Directorate of Health Services, State Government of Chhattisgarh, Raipur, India.
Directorate of Health Services, State Government of Chhattisgarh, Raipur, India.



Patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) incur huge expenditures for diagnosis and treatment; these costs can be reduced through a well-designed and implemented social health insurance mechanism. The State of Chhattisgarh in India successfully established a partnership between the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) and the Health Insurance Programme, to form a universal health insurance scheme for all, by establishing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) and Mukhyamantri Swasthya Bima Yojana (MSBY) MDR-TB packages. The objective of this partnership was to absorb the catastrophic expenses incurred by patients with MDR-TB, from diagnosis to treatment completion, in the public and private sector. This paper documents the initial experience of a tailor-made health insurance programme, linked to covering catastrophic health expenditure for patients with MDR-TB.


In this descriptive study, data on uptake of insurance claims through innovative MDR-TB packages from January 2013 to April 2014 were collected. A simple survey of costs for clinical investigation and inpatient care was conducted across two major urban districts in Chhattisgarh. In these selected districts, three health facilities from the private sector and one medical college from the public sector with a functional drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) centre were chosen by the RSBY and MSBY State Nodal Agency to complete a simple, structured questionnaire on existing market rates. The mean costs for clinical investigations and hospital stay were calculated for an individual patient with MDR-TB who would seek services from the private or public sector.


A total of 207 insurance claims for RSBY and MSBY MDR-TB packages were processed, of which 20 were from private and 187 from public health establishments, covered under the health insurance programme, free of charge. An estimated catastrophic expenditure, of approximately US$ 20 000, was saved through the RSBY and MSBY health insurance mechanism during the study period.


The innovative RSBY and MSBY MDR-TB insurance package is a step towards reducing catastrophic expenses associated with treatment for MDR-TB.

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