Journal of Public Health

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 361–371 | Cite as

Reassessing the gender differences in type and place of health care utilisation in India: does the gender gap no longer exist?

  • Anshul Kastor
  • Kumar Parimal Shrestha
Original Article



Two of the crucial components of health care service utilisation are the type of health care services received (government, private, others) and the place visited (same village, another village, another district/town, a metro city, abroad, etc.). The association between health care facilities and gender is important for understanding the disparities between males and females. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to reassess the gender differences in the type and place of health care utilisation.


Data from the second round of the India Human Development Survey (2011–2012) were used for this study. Analysis was done using both bi- and multivariate techniques (multinomial logistic regression).


Results indicate an improvement in the female health care-seeking behaviour. We found that females have a higher tendency to visit private health care centres, whereas a higher percentage of males used government health care services for the treatment of both long- and short-term morbidities. Males and females reported visiting health care centres within the village, in another village, in another district/town and in a metro area/abroad for treatment approximately to the same extent.


The analysis of the male and female treatment-seeking behaviour revealed a clear picture of proliferating gender neutrality. The increase in the health care-seeking behaviour of women can be considered an upshot of improved female education and increased awareness among males regarding female empowerment. Government interventions in different sectors have also improved the plight of women directly or indirectly.


Gender differences Place of health care utilisation Type of health care utilisation Short-term morbidity Long-term morbidity India 



This research received no grants from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

The study used a data set that is available online in the public domain; hence, there was no need to seek ethical consent to publish this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017
corrected publication January/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)MumbaiIndia

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