Farhat Hossain, Abdul Hannan

Levels of Regional Inequality of Health Infrastructure and Morbidity Pattern in West Bengal

  • Strategy and Management
  • Business and International Management

This article examines the differences in health infrastructural availability in West Bengal. Furthermore, the study looks at the pattern of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the six different regions of the state. It measures and analyses the disparities through the lens of demand and supply gaps in healthcare. The trends, patterns and distribution of various diseases were captured through the NSS unit-level data from 60th and 71st rounds. The study shows that inter-regional and inter-district differences in health infrastructure are striking in West Bengal. The state’s health infrastructure lags behind the national average. The average population served per rural health facility in North Bengal as well as West Bengal is quite high compared to national figures. Similarly, the population served per hospital bed in North Bengal is also substantially higher in comparison to other regions. The inadequacy of hospital beds is one of the major obstacles in reducing the burden of disease in the region. The results for the distribution of diseases of inpatient cases show that the burden of communicable diseases in North Bengal is relatively higher than the other regions in both rounds of NSS. The inpatient cases of water- and food-borne infectious diseases like gastrointestinal diseases are considerably high in North Bengal.

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