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Comparison of the cost for two aspects of health care in hospitals in the state and private sector

Authors:

K S H de Silva ,

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo., LK
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H Wijesundera,

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo., LK
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J A A M Dilhani,

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo., LK
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H D P Premarathne,

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo., LK
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N S Gunawardena

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo., LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Every child in Sri Lanka is entitled to free health care in state hospitals. Nevertheless, there is a cost involved with hospitalization which is borne by the parents.

Objectives: To estimate the cost incurred for drugs and investigations by the parents of a child hospitalized in a state sector hospital. To compare the total cost for drugs and investigations if the same management had been done in a hospital in the private sector.

Method: From October 2010, 500 children admitted to a ward at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH), Colombo were selected by systematic sampling for the study. Patients discharged before 24 hours were excluded. The duration of hospitalization was categorized as ≤3 days, 4-7 days, 8-14 days and >2 weeks. The expenditure borne by the parents for the occasional drugs purchased and for investigations requested from the private sector was recorded. This was then compared with the total cost for all the drugs given and investigations done if their children were hospitalized for the same illness and duration in a private sector hospital.

Results: There were 311 (62%) boys and 189 girls. Mean age was 3.5 years. Monthly family income ranged from Rs 2000.00 to Rs 210,000.00. 51% were hospitalized for ≤3 days. The average cost in the private sector for drugs and investigations was significantly greater than the cost incurred by the parents at LRH.  

Conclusion: Cost incurred for drugs and investigations is significantly less for parents of a sick child in a state hospital.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jccp.v43i1-2.6812

Journal of the Ceylon College of Physicians,2012, 43, 24-27

How to Cite: de Silva, K.S.H. et al., (2014). Comparison of the cost for two aspects of health care in hospitals in the state and private sector. Journal of the Ceylon College of Physicians. 43(1-2), pp.24–27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccp.v43i1-2.6812
Published on 08 Apr 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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