Out of Pocket Health Expenditure
What does it mean ?
This indicator is calculated by adding together all direct payments from every household to health care providers or pharmacists, as a proportion of the total health-related spending in a country. Out of pocket health expenditure is only part of private health spending, because it does not include private health insurance. Together, government, external and private health spending make up the total health care spending in a country.
Why does it matter ?
Out of pocket health expenditure is a core indicator measuring the equity of health systems and the extent to which access to health care depends on one's ability to pay. Certain households may not be able to fund health care expenses out of pocket, resulting in untreated health problems and lack of care. For others, unplanned health spending will impoverish their whole household as they may be forced borrow money, to sell their assets or pull their children out of school to afford the costs.
How is it collected ?
The preferred source of data for this indicator is a National Health Account, which is an internationally agreed method for collecting information about all financial flows related to health in a country. Where a recent National Health Account is not available, the WHO's health financing team collects similar information using technical contacts in-country and publicly available documents.
WHO World Health Statistics 2014. Estimates for 2012 http://apps.who.int/nha/database