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Socio-Economic Factors and their Influence on Utilization of Inpatient Services at Tertiary Care Hospitals of West Bengal

Reeti Debnath

Asst. Professor
Department of Health Care Management
NSHM College of Management and Technology
124 (60) B.L. Saha Road, Kolkata, West Bengal (India)

Sumati Ray

Dept. of Master in Business Administration
Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management
Management House, Kolkata, West Bengal (India)


Throughout the globe, researcher’s debates on the significance of socio-economic factors in influencing the choice of seeking care at health facilities. India’s health care system is characterized by multiple systems of medicine, mixed ownership patterns and different delivery structures. Recent surveys, nationwide, show that dependence on private sector for outpatient and inpatient services has significantly increased among the population. The changing trend can be contributed to rising income levels, demographic and cultural shifts and changing disease patterns. This paper examines the significance of socio-economic variables of patients in selecting and utilizing inpatient services at tertiary level health facilities of West Bengal. Information about the socio-economic status of the population is vital for demographers, health administrators, social workers and policy makers for planning and financing of health programs. The study findings reveal that inpatients age, education, residence, family income, availability of health insurance schemes show a significant effect on the utilization of a health care facility.

Key words: Health, Public, Private, Inpatient, Utilization, Socio-economic.

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