India’s population continues to grow larger and older. The number of sixty plus in India is expected to increase 198 million in 2030 and to an enormous 330 million by 2050 (United Nations, 2006). These population changes will have a significant impact on India’s economic growth and especially on private healthcare spending as public healthcare options are negligible and most of the household expenditure is out-of-pocket (Bhat and Jain, 2006). Even the poorest patients who are in actual need of government health services have no option but to avail of healthcare from the private sector due to the non-availability of government-subsidized services in public hospitals (Kunhikannan and Aravindan, 1996). As a result, the share of private healthcare has increased significantly in India. Expenditure on private sources amounts to 85 per cent of the total health care expenditure. It depicts that the public health care system is inadequate to cater the needs of the poor citizen. In this context, this study focuses the rural health care expenditure pattern in Kerala by conducting a case study at mannarkkad panchayath in Palakkad district. The study has been conducted by taking 100 samples to find out the expenditure pattern and major determinants of health care expenditure.
 Research scholar, University College Trivandrum.