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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

versão impressa ISSN 1816-8949


GIMENEZ, Edgar; MARTINEZ, Juan María  e  ACOSTA, José Carlos. Magnitude, composition, and economic effect on households of the out-of-pocket expenditure of people admitted to the Encarnacion integrated respiratory hospital in one semester during the COVID-19 pandemic. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2021, vol.54, n.3, pp.51-60. ISSN 1816-8949.


Faced with COVID-19, hospitals were reorganized in the Paraguayan health system where the predominant financing is out-of-pocket expenses.


To analyze the out-of-pocket expenditure in the Encarnacion integrated respiratory hospital.

Materials and methods:

Quantitative, observational, descriptive study between August 2020 and February 2021. It included a non-random sample of 95 cases. A telephone survey was applied to a key informant. The dependent variables were: out-of-pocket expense, expense / income ratio, and expense / hospital days ratio. The independent ones were: sex, elderly, admission to ICU, medical insurance and diagnosis of COVID-19. Excessive spending was defined as greater than 0.1 of income and catastrophic as greater than 0.25 of income. The significant association was determined by Chi2 and Mann-Whitney tests (p <0.05).


97.8% had out-of-pocket expenses mainly for medications and disposables. The average total expense was Gs 1.98 million, the average daily expense was Gs 215.4 thousand and the expense / income ratio was 1.13. In intensive care, the average total expenditure was 7.18 million Gs (the maximum was 18.41 million Gs), the average daily expenditure was 666.8 thousand Gs (the maximum was 2.85 million Gs per day) and the expense / income ratio 3.83. The expense was excessive in 87% of the cases and catastrophic in 52% of the cases. The expense was significantly associated with age over 60 years, having been admitted to the ICU and the diagnosis of COVID-19, not with sex or with insurance.


The financial protection mechanisms were insufficient to avoid excessive and catastrophic expenses during hospitalization.

Palavras-chave : out-of-pocket spending; catastrophic spending; financial protection; universal health coverage; COVID-19..

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