The vulnerability endemic in Mumbai’s healthcare landscape

At a time when Indians are choosing, or being forced to choose, private healthcare over public healthcare, and when healthcare costs are shooting up, this statistic becomes all the more alarming: in 71% of Mumbai households, not a single member of the family has medical insurance.

This is one of the findings of a report released last week titled ‘The State of Health of Mumbai’ by Praja Foundation, an organisation that uses data and information to inform citizens and enable accountable governance. The vulnerability increases as one goes down the socio-economic pyramid in Mumbai. For this report, Praja surveyed 20,317 households across all 227 wards in Mumbai, and divided Mumbai households into five Socio-economic categories: Sec A (the most well-off) to Sec E (the worst off).

In Sec A, 59% of households had no medical insurance, which is high by itself. For Sec E households, it increases to 77%. Lower SEC profiles, on the one hand, lower medical insurance coverage. On the other, they have lower incomes and yet spend a greater percentage of this on medical/hospital expenses, making them more vulnerable.

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