We have witnessed radical changes in infrastructure of health services and pattern of utilisation of care over the years in all parts of the country. An enquiry into the fact would unveil some of the important alterations like introduction of user fees or more specifically hike in fees structure in the public health facilities, emergence of numerous private sources of care and growing preference for alternative systems of medicine among rural and urban mass. Important research questions at this point are that whether demand for public health facilities has decreased or whether pattern of morbidity has changed or whether people’s perception on illness has altered leading to a change in the appeal towards a particular type of care or system of medicine. The present study investigates such research questions empirically in the rural and urban areas of Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts in West Bengal, India.
Economics of health care utilisation Morbidity Public health care in India System of medicine in India