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Catastrophic Health Expenditure

A sound financing system should ensure a fair distribution of the burden of health costs, protect households against health shocks, and improve access to health services by promoting an equitable distribution of public expenditures. However, in many developing countries, health finance is still dominated by out-of-pocket payments. Households without full health insurance coverage usually face a risk of incurring large medical care expenditures when a household member falls ill. If the health care expenses are large relative to the resources available to the household, these expenses may disrupt the living standards of the household. Households may have to reduce expenses on necessities such as food as a result of such large health expenditures. In some extreme cases, health expenses may lead to poverty. A household ...

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