What has Rajasthan done that other states haven't? It simply reduced the medical costs of its people, according to Samit Sharma, managing director of Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation (RMSC), which implements the scheme of providing free drugs and basic diagnostic tests to the common public.

"According to the findings of credible studies, three per cent of the families in the country change their status from APL (above poverty line) category to BPL (below poverty line) because of exorbitant healthcare costs," says Sharma.

He adds as many as 2.1 million people in Rajasthan used to get pushed to the BPL category because of medical costs. "Healthcare is the second most important cause for rural indebtedness. 24% of all indoor patients get pushed below the poverty line because of debt incurred in order to meet the treatment expenses. And 40% of all patients borrow money to meet hospitalisation expenses." Read More

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