Author(s): Kasturiratne A, Wickremasinghe AR, de Silva A
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the pattern of morbidity and the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of patients seeking in-patient services for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in medical units of a tertiary care hospital, and to estimate the economic burden imposed by these admissions on the households. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in medical units of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama. Data were collected using a pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire. Morbidity patterns and demographic and socio-economic characteristics of patients with NCDs were determined. Direct and indirect components of the household cost of hospital stay were estimated. RESULTS: Fifty five per cent of the patients men male and the largest age group (11\%) was 50-54 years. Seventy per cent were above 40 years of age, and 63\% represented social classes 4 and 5. Diseases of the circulatory system were the commonest (31\%). Median household cost of the total hospital stay was Rs. 852.00 (inter-quartile range Rs. 351.00-1885.00) of which 70\% were direct costs. Median daily cost was Rs. 340.00 (interquartile range Rs.165.00-666.00). Only 44\% of patients incurred an indirect cost. Cost of travelling was the main contributor (36\%) to the household cost. Laboratory investigations contributed 16\%. CONCLUSIONS: Most patients seeking in-patient services were from a poor socioeconomic background. The economic burden imposed by the admission to the household was mainly due to direct costs incurred for travelling and investigations.
This article was published in Ceylon Med J
and referenced in Health Care : Current Reviews