20% households in India became poor due to mental health expense

A recent research paper has highlighted that as many as 20% of households in India become poor as a result of spending money on treatment for mental illnesses.

The study found that 18.1% of a household’s monthly consumption expenditure was spent on healthcare due to the mental illness of a member. States like Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim reported higher healthcare burdens due to mental illness than the national average for India.

In contrast, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Puducherry reported lower healthcare burdens. The paper stressed the need for early diagnosis and management of mental illness in India to reduce its poverty impact.

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States and UTs with Higher healthcare burden

States/UTHigher healthcare burden
Daman and Diu19.4 per cent
Himachal Pradesh18.0 per cent
Sikkim 17.4 per cent
Lakshadweep 14.6 per cent
Maharashtra 13.7 per cent
Telangana 13.3 per cent
Punjab 12.7 per cent
Uttarakhand 12.5 per cent

Burden of Mental Illness in India

The study aimed to shed light on the burden of mental illness in India and the gaps in mental health care. He stressed the need for financial risk protection policies for those affected by mental illness.

Study analyzed data from round 76 of the National Sample Survey and estimated out-of-pocket spending (OOPE) and catastrophic health spending (CHE) due to mental illness.

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The study found that the majority of people with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries do not receive medical care, leading to chronicity, suffering, and higher costs of care.

The study also highlighted that mental health disorders account for a significant part of the disease burden globally and in LMICs, but receive less than one percent of many countries’ health budgets.

States and UTs with the lowest healthcare burden

States/UTLowest healthcare burden
Mizoram 0.5 per cent
Andaman and Nicobar Islands1.2 per cent
Puducherry 1.7 per cent
Dadra and Nagar Haveli2.0 per cent
Arunachal Pradesh3.0 per cent
Nagaland 3.5 per cent

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