The 'Aarogya Bharat' report by the Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) and leading management consulting firm Bain & Company has estimated an economic loss of $6.2 trillion due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) between 2012 and 2030. The report revealed that the mental health illness rate is very high among Indians from 20 to 40 years of age. With one in every five person in India suffering from some form of mental disorder, mental health-related cost would account for 20% of economic loss from NCDs between 2012 and 2030.
Anjan Bose, secretary general, NATHEALTH, said, "Among non-communicable diseases, mental health is the largest contributor to economic loss in India. It is estimated that mental health will accord 20% of economic loss from NCDs 2012-2030, which is estimated at $6.2 trillion."
Dr.Samir Parikh, director, mental health & behavioral sciences, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, said, "Mental health illness's indirect costs are higher than direct costs. Direct cost in mental health care includes costs of care like medication, clinic visits (fees), hospitalization, diagnostic services, residential care, community services, rehabilitation and non-medical costs like transportation for treatment and care, etc. These are the value of resources used in the treatment of disease."
While speaking over the indirect costs due to mental health, Dr.Parikh said, "Indirect costs are value of resources lost as a result of illness. Indirect costs due to mental health include costs due to reduced supply of labor (unemployment), reduced educational attainment, expenses for social supports, costs associated with consequences like chronic disability, homelessness, crime, suicide, homicide, caregiver burden, value of family caregiver's time, medical complications of mental illnesses, early mortality, substance use and other unquantifiable costs like emotional burden on family etc. Other costs include those for health awareness campaigning."
Mental health also affects the economy through early retirements, negative expectations regarding employment and reduced productivity. The report noted that on a whole, it leads to increase in expenditure for the healthcare system, individuals and households. Dr.Parikh said, "So far as mental health in India is concerned, there is an urgent need to shift from curative approach to a preventive one."