Domestic health or medical tourism is traveling from an individual’s usual place of residence to another within the country for getting better medical treatment or for want of less expensive treatment available in his/her usual place of residence. National Sample Survey Office had conducted an all-India household survey on domestic tourism during the period of July 2008 to June 2009. The survey covered 8,188 villages and 4,764 urban blocks of whole India as first stage units. A detailed enquiry schedule 21.1 was canvassed for a sample of 12 households (second stage units) from each of those first stage units. From those survey data an attempt was made to study the various aspects of domestic health tourism like most attractive destination, expenditure, type of stay, duration of stay and average trip size etc. It was also seen in the paper that extent of those medical trip where expenditure was at least partially reimbursed by any government or other institutions. The important finding of this exercise was incidence of medical tourism was much more in Rural India than Urban India and that (more so ever) from Villages where infrastructure was very poor. Also it was seen that incidence of Medical trip in Urban India is much more homogeneous across the Quintile expenditure class than Rural India. Another most important issue was emerged from this study that less than five percent of medical trip was covered under medical Insurance. The availability of poor health infrastructure is the most important reason for moving out to get medical treatment. Indian household on medical trip is spending a substantial amount of money. But very few households are covered by medical insurance or by any social security benefits. Hence there is an urgent need for availability of such medical insurance and social security benefits to the vast member of the Indian population.
Key words: Medical tourism, household survey, health infrastructures, usual place of residence, overnight trips and medical insurance.
Abbreviations: NSSO, National Sample Survey Office; NSS, National Sample Survey; UPR, usual place of residence; SSS, second stage stratification; FSU, first stage unit.
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