Despite a strong infrastructural base of the public health care facilities in many Indian states, the majority of outpatient services, especially in the rural areas, are provided by private health care providers, most of whom practice modern allopathy without any formal training. This research brief attempts to present some recent evidences to help understand the role and relevance of rural medical practitioners (RMPs) in the context of West Bengal's health care system.
The present research brief presents some recent evidences on the incidence of catastrophic financial shocks experienced by the users of public vis-à-vis private hospitals in one Indian state (West Bengal). The scenario is especially interesting in West Bengal, where public sector plays a dominant role in providing inpatient care. The findings presented below would therefore help understand whether and to what extent a strong presence of public sector is an adequate instrument for financial protection.