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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

Print version ISSN 1816-8949


GIMENEZ CABALLERO, Edgar et al. Impoverishing health expenditure: a challenge for universal health coverage in Paraguay. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2019, vol.52, n.1, pp.33-42. ISSN 1816-8949.

Out-of-pocket spending is the main financing of the health system in Paraguay. Reversing this situation is necessary for the Universal Health Coverage to be effective in 2030, an achievement that is part of the Sustainable Development Goals. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of Impoverishment health expenditure in Paraguayan households. I take into account those households whose out-of-pocket expenses caused a fall below the poverty line, as well as households that deepened their poverty as a cause of these health expenditures. As a material and method, the study analyzed the Permanent Household Survey 2014; took the definition of the out-of-pocket expenses of the World Health Organization and the official definition of monetary poverty of the country of the General Directorate of Statistics, Surveys and Census of the STP. The result is that 23,387 households were pushed below the poverty line due to out-of-pocket expenses in case of illness. This represented 1.8% of non-poor households and 1.4% of total households. In addition, 61.9% of households already in poverty worsened their poverty due to out-of-pocket health expenditures. The conclusion is that Paraguayan households are exposed to excessive health expenditures and that specific policies are required to protect the population in the area. Strategies to combat poverty can be more effective when considering health expenditures in case of the event of an illness or accident.

Keywords : health financing; health financial protection; out-of-pocket health expenditure; impoverishing health expenditure; universal health coverage..

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