….100 million still pushed into extreme poverty because of health expenses
THUR, DECEMBER 14 2017-theG&BJournal-A new report from the World Bank (WB) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) reads like an apocalyptic script of human health disaster. The report notes that each year, large numbers of households are being pushed into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets. And so, at least half of world’s population cannot obtain essential services.
According to the report findings released Wednesday (13 December 2017), in Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report, “currently, 800 million people spend at least 10 percent of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, a sick child or other family member. For almost 100 million people these expenses are high enough to push them into extreme poverty, forcing them to survive on just $1.90 or less a day.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization described the situation as ‘’unacceptable.’’
“And it is unnecessary. A solution exists: universal health coverage (UHC) allows everyone to obtain the health services they need, when and where they need them, without facing financial hardship,” he added.
The report also revealed the wide gaps in the availability of services in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. It noted that in other regions basic health care services such as family planning and infant immunization are becoming more available, “but lack of financial protection means increasing financial distress for families as they pay for these services out of their own pockets. This is even a challenge in more affluent regions such as Eastern Asia, Latin America and Europe, where a growing number of people are spending at least 10 percent of their household budgets on out-of-pocket health expenses.”
“Inequalities in health services are seen not just between, but also within countries: national averages can mask low levels of health service coverage in disadvantaged population groups. For example, only 17 percent of mothers and children in the poorest fifth of households in low- and lower-middle income countries received at least six of seven basic maternal and child health interventions, compared to 74 percent for the wealthiest fifth of households.”