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Socioeconomic inequality in catastrophic healthcare expenditures in Western Iran

Socioeconomic inequality in catastrophic healthcare expenditures in Western Iran Financial protection of households against catastrophic healthcare expenditure (CHE) is defined as one of the main goals in health systems. The purpose of this paper is to measure and decompose socioeconomic inequality in CHE among households in Kermanshah province, Western of Iran.Design/methodology/approachThis cross-sectional study was carried out among 1,188 households in 2017. Data were extracted from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey which is conducted by the Statistical Center of Iran. The CHE is defined as household healthcare expenditure greater than or equal to the 40 percent of household’s “capacity to pay.” The concentration curve and the Wagstaff (W) and Erreygers (E) indexes were used to illustrate and measure the extent of socioeconomic inequality in CHE. In addition, the authors decomposed the W and E indexes to identify the main determinants of socioeconomic inequality in CHE.FindingsThe results indicated that the prevalence of CHE among households was 4.12 percent (95% confidence interval (CI): 3.13 to 5.42 percent). The estimated value of the W and E indexes were −0.2849 (95% CI: −0.4493 to −0.1205) and −0.0451 (95% CI: −0.0712 to −0.0190), respectively; suggesting the concentration of CHE prevalence among the poor households. Decomposition analyses indicated socioeconomic status as the most important factor contributing to the concentration of CHE among the poor. In contrast, health insurance coverage was found to increase the concentration of CHE among the rich in Iran.Originality/valueThe current study demonstrated a higher concentration of CHE among the poor households in Kermanshah province. These results call for the government’s efforts to reduce healthcare expenditure among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Further studies are required to understand the mechanisms through which health insurance coverage increased the probability of CHE among rich in Kermanshah province. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Social Economics Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0306-8293
DOI
10.1108/ijse-01-2019-0034
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Financial protection of households against catastrophic healthcare expenditure (CHE) is defined as one of the main goals in health systems. The purpose of this paper is to measure and decompose socioeconomic inequality in CHE among households in Kermanshah province, Western of Iran.Design/methodology/approachThis cross-sectional study was carried out among 1,188 households in 2017. Data were extracted from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey which is conducted by the Statistical Center of Iran. The CHE is defined as household healthcare expenditure greater than or equal to the 40 percent of household’s “capacity to pay.” The concentration curve and the Wagstaff (W) and Erreygers (E) indexes were used to illustrate and measure the extent of socioeconomic inequality in CHE. In addition, the authors decomposed the W and E indexes to identify the main determinants of socioeconomic inequality in CHE.FindingsThe results indicated that the prevalence of CHE among households was 4.12 percent (95% confidence interval (CI): 3.13 to 5.42 percent). The estimated value of the W and E indexes were −0.2849 (95% CI: −0.4493 to −0.1205) and −0.0451 (95% CI: −0.0712 to −0.0190), respectively; suggesting the concentration of CHE prevalence among the poor households. Decomposition analyses indicated socioeconomic status as the most important factor contributing to the concentration of CHE among the poor. In contrast, health insurance coverage was found to increase the concentration of CHE among the rich in Iran.Originality/valueThe current study demonstrated a higher concentration of CHE among the poor households in Kermanshah province. These results call for the government’s efforts to reduce healthcare expenditure among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Further studies are required to understand the mechanisms through which health insurance coverage increased the probability of CHE among rich in Kermanshah province.

Journal

International Journal of Social EconomicsEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 4, 2019

Keywords: Decomposition analysis; Inequality; Concentration index; Catastrophic healthcare expenditure

References