Do Indian Households Facing Catastrophic Healthcare Expenditures Discriminate against Women for Treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases? Insights from Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition Analysis

Rishika Tomar , Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee
Dr Pratap Chandra Mohanty, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee

The achievement of goals 3 and 5 of good health and well-being, along with gender equality under sustainable development goals, is not possible without achieving gender equality in health by 2030. Women incur the triple burden of reproductive, communicable, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Our study attempts to fill the gap through a comprehensive view of the burden of NCDs and its related healthcare expenditure (HCE) between genders. The study utilizes the 75th round of India's nationally representative large-scale survey data: 'National Sample Survey on Household Social Consumption: Health (2017-18)' for inpatient people hospitalized during the last 365 days for NCDs. The study finds that women bear the excess burden of NCDs than men in India among diseases related to diabetes, eye, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and genitourinary. Descriptive statistics summarise that the gender gap in average HCE amounts to Indian rupees (INR) 9754 at the country level. Average HCE gap in cardiovascular diseases is highest (INR 17370), followed by cancers (INR 11580) and gastrointestinal (INR 7508). The O-B decomposition results indicate that the endowment effect contributes 70.5% of the gender gap in HCE in India. A major part of the endowment effect is attributable to the catastrophic health expenditures, more men being hospitalized of the age group 60+ and households with higher education and source of financing being borrowings. Gender discrimination results in the delay or avoidance of women's health. To break the gender asymmetries in healthcare access, Indian government should prioritize policy intervention focusing on specific diseases and their treatment-related difficulties.

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 Presented in Session 120. Flash session Gender Differences in Health, Wellbeing and Morbidity