Data from National Sample Surveys (71st round, 2014 and 75th round, 2017-18) show that there is a significant increase in the utilisation of public facilities for both outpatient and inpatient services, across empowered action group states and non-EAG states. As a result, there is a dramatic fall in the overall financial burden on patients who would have otherwise used services of private healthcare providers. In light of this evidence, this paper argues that it is prudent to invest more directly to strengthen public healthcare delivery system in India. © 2020 Economic and Political Weekly. All rights reserved.