Catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) is a reliable measure of the financial unpreparedness of the studied population to meet unexpected health issues. The alarming proportion of patients who incur CHE in the wake of an acute neurological illness like Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is of serious concern in a country like India where a large majority of households are uninsured.
Medical records of patients diagnosed with at a tertiary care centre in Delhi were analysed retrospectively to determine the rate of CHE. Clinical details and other contributory variables were also recorded.
53 patients with a median age of 29 years (10.5–46.5) were included in the study. Tow- third of patients were less than 40 years of age and 58.5% were male. 90.6% of patients incurred CHE with a median amount INR 273 300 spent out of pocket.
The enormous magnitude of financial distress and crisis emerging out of an acute neurological illness needs to be addressed with urgency to prevent impoverishment of already weakened households.