Document Type: Short Communication
Indian Institute of Public Health Bhubaneswar (IIPHB), Bhubaneswar, India
Over the years, national and sub-national governments have introduced several initiatives to improve access to maternal and child health services in India. However, financial barriers have posed major constraints. Based upon the data of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) round 4 for Odisha state, our paper examines the out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) borne by households for accessing maternal and child healthcare services in a low resource setting of India. We have interpreted results of NFHS-4 by drawing inferences from literature for understanding the rising OOPE in the public health system. Findings suggests that OOPE is considerably high for maternal and child health conditions in Odisha and ranks fifth, despite the coverage of 72% women under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), a condition cash transfer scheme with majority utilizing the public health system. The high OOPE on child delivery raises numerous pertinent questions about the effectiveness of the public health delivery system, and thus requires financial protection in the interest of the population that accesses public health systems in the state.