A survey of 22,850 households covering Mumbai's 24 wards by the NGO Praja Foundation, found that 71% did not have medical insurance. An average of Rs 48,321 was spent on medical expenses annually by each household, rendering them financially weak.
Among the economically weakest population the incidence of diseases such as malaria, dengue and even diabetes per 1,000 households was found to be highest. For example 48 people per 1,000 households suffered from malaria in higher economic groups, and 75 in the poorest sections, revealed survey reports.
"Out-of-pocket expenses have been responsible for more people sinking below the poverty line," said Milind Mhaske of Praja. As many as 21% of the respondents said they spent over 11% of their annual income on medical costs.
Nitai Mehta of Praja quoted "Mumbaikars spend a staggering Rs 13,675 crore on healthcare annually. The lowest socioeconomic group is the worst affected".
52% of the survey participants used only private sectors whereas only 32% participants used public health facilities, 16% of the group used a combination of both public and private health services.