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Cost effectiveness and efficacy of homeopathy in primary health care units of the Government of Delhi – a studyKosten-Nutzen-Analyse der Homöopathie in der staatlichen Primärversorgung in Delhi – Eine Studie
Homeopathy is one of the recognized systems of medicine in India and is widely practised. There are 197,252 qualified homeopaths, 180 colleges, 7,411 dispensaries and 307 hospitals. The Government of India is committed to the development of homeopathy along with the other traditional systems of medicine.
Delhi, the capital of India, has a total population of 13.7 million, about 35% belonging to the poor strata residing in slums. The Government of Delhi has adopted a cafeteria approach in primary health care units and 66 homeopathic clinics have been established within the allopathic health centres to help patients to seek treatment from either system. To assess the cost effectiveness and efficacy of these homeopathic clinics two studies have been undertaken.
Study 1: The data pertaining to homeopathic clinics of one year (1999–2000, 24,943 patients) with respect to patient turnover, morbidity profile and expenditure incurred were compared to those of the allopathic clinics (27,508 patients) functional at the same centre. 1.25 million patients visited these clinics and their morbidity profile included respiratory diseases (26%), gastro-intestinal diseases (20%), skin diseases (20%), gynaecological diseases (9%), viral diseases and injuries (4% each) and other miscellaneous diseases (14%). The expenditure incurred per patient per visit in allopathic clinic was Rupees 76.90 and Rupees 15.43 in homeopathic clinics.
Study 2 (by Evaluation Cell, Planning Department Government of Delhi): The staff members and 840 patients of 57 homeopathic clinics were interviewed using structured proformas. Several aspects including economic, cultural, social, administrative and patient satisfaction etc were studied. The outcome of the survey revealed that the majority of patients attending these clinics were fully satisfied and the staff of these clinics were very cordial, cooperative and confident. There were instances of referrals of patients from allopathic clinics to homeopathic clinics and vice-versa.
Conclusion: Both studies have established that homeopathy is quite popular, very cost-effective and can be used widely at primary health care level for common diseases. Its adoption at primary health care level can serve as a model for promoting homeopathy in developing countries.
Homeopathic clinics, patient turnover, morbidity profile, expenditure.
Homöopathische Kliniken, Patientenzahlen, Krankheitsverteilung, Kosten.
Korrespondierender Autor: Dr. R.K. Manchanda, Deputy Director (Homoeopathy)1, Directorate of ISM and Homoeopathy, Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, B-Block, Defence Colony, 110024 New Delhi, India; Dr. Mukul Kulhashreshtha2, Chief Medical Officer, Directorate of Health Services, Government of Delhi
E-Mail: [email protected]