Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 422

Inequity in Outpatient Healthcare Use and Utilization of
Public Healthcare Facilities: Empirical Evidence from NSS Data


Anushree K N
S Madheswaran


The purpose of this study is to assess the socioeconomic inequities in healthcare outcomes by place of residence, using two rounds of NSSO data. The healthcare outcomes of interest were utilization of outpatient healthcare services and choice of care captured in the survey with fifteen days’ recall period. Horizontal Inequity [HI] index was employed to measure inequities in healthcare outcomes. Further, determinants of healthcare outcomes were estimated using non-linear regression models. Our findings show that inequities in outpatient care utilization were largely concentrated among wealthier groups, while the utilization of government health facilities were disproportionately concentrated among poorer sections of the population, not only in Karnataka but also in India at large. Though the inequities in outpatient care utilization were positive, yet the magnitude of inequities declined over a decade, suggesting that the healthcare system is tending towards equitable provision of care, based on need.


Working Papers