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The Government of India launched its National Health Insurance Scheme, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) with the aim of improving access to health services in the private sector, especially among families living below the poverty line. This study explored RSBY enrolled families’ use of RSBY for voluntary family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) services at private health facilities, knowledge of service availability, and factors influencing knowledge among RSBY enrolled families.
This study showed that poor families were accessing services from the private sector, but from non empanelled health facilities rather than RSBY empanelled facilities: About 20% of the families in this study had used a private facility for FP and delivery services, and an even higher proportion had gone to a private facility for pregnancy and delivery‐related care (about 50%) and for post-abortion complications (about 70%). Because all the respondents in this study belonged to families enrolled in RSBY, they could avail those services at subsidized rates, but they did not. As the study revealed, this was because the awareness about the availability of FP/RH services under RSBY was low: Only about 30% of the respondents knew that RSBY could be used to avail any of FP/RH services, and most of the enrolled families did not know which private health facilities provide services under RSBY. These findings indicate the need for demand side intervention among enrolled families to maximize the Government's efforts in increasing access and providing freedom of choice between public and private hospitals to the participating families, enrolled through RSBY.
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