Catastrophic Health Expenditures and Its Socio-economic Consequences: A Case Study of Tehsil Utman Khel Tribal District, Bajaur
Health expenditures become catastrophic when household’s out of pocket spending on availing health care facilities exceeds a specific proportion of its monthly income leading to impoverishment effects. This study analysed health catastrophic expenditures and its economic consequences on the insurgency affected area of Tehsil Utman khel, district Bajaur of erstwhile FATA. Semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 270 households through random sampling technique. The study applied binary logistic regression model to assess the relationship between health catastrophe and various socio-economic variables. The study revealed that 61% of the households had to face health catastrophic expenditures in last three months. 70% of the respondents reported that health expenditures had affected their daily consumption pattern, whereas 92% of the households had lost their working days due to their own or relative’s health issues. 74% of the household had managed health costs by selling assets and borrowing. Results of the logistic regression indicated that probability of catastrophic health expenditures decreases by 0.007 with one unit increase in income, whereas the probability of catastrophic health expenditures increase by 0.545, 0.00019 and 0.313 with the increase of household size, health care cost and chronic illnesses respectively. . The study recommends Health financing interventions in the form of insurance or other safety nets to save the poor households from the trap of poverty.
Key words: Health catastrophic expenditures, consumption pattern, working days.
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