Costs of treatment for individuals affected with HINI is increasing, says a new study.
Doctors at Sir Ganga Ram hospital for the first time studied and documented the monetary burden of Swine Flu on the Capital's population.
H1N1 leads to substantial health burden and has had huge implications ranging from closure of schools to low productivity. Due to lack of any model to access its economic impact, it has been least understood. This led us to undertake this study to gauge H1N1's economic impact on common man,'' explained Dr. Atul Kakar, author of the study and senior consultant, Department of Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
They collated hospitalization costs of 209 patients admitted in their hospital between January 1 to March 31, 2015. Out of which 54.3% were over 40 years of age and 46% were women. A total of 52.9% patients had one or more co-existing medical conditions. Hypertension was found in 23% and diabetes in 22.5% patients.
"All patients included in the study were confirmed cases of H1N1 diagnosed by RT-PCR and all fell in the category needing hospitalization. Total hospital expenditure data was collected after discharge," said Dr. Atul Gogia.
He said, "Our study found that the minimum expenditure for patients of H1N1 was Rs. 10,004 and the maximum was Rs. 19,85,428. Mean expenditure in isolation ward was Rs. 1,25,429, single isolated room Rs. 1,62,320, and in ICU it was Rs. 4,57,447."
"The expenditure went up with increase in age. Hospital expenses in specially created isolation ward was much lower than isolated single rooms," found the study.
According to Dr Atul Gogia, co-author of the study, preventive measures with vaccination before start of the epidemic would help drastically reduce cost of hospitalization and the socio-economic burden on the patient.
"Ours is the first report to give fair information on economic impact of H1N1 influenza. But the actual economic burden could be much higher as the study could not take into account absenteeism from work or school, and decrease in production and tourism," said Dr. Kakar .