Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Catastrophic Health Expenditure and Poverty in Pakistan

The current study has estimated the incidences, intensity and impacts of catastrophic health expenditures for Pakistan. For the analysis, two thresholds are used to define catastrophic health payments (1) if health expenditures are 10 percent or above of household consumption, and (2) if they are 40 percent or above of household non-food consumption expenditures. The Pakistan Panel Household Survey (PPHS) 2010/11 is used for the analysis. The findings reveal that a significant proportion of the population in Pakistan has been facing catastrophic health payment issues. The presence of children, the elderly and sick/disabled persons in the home raises the risks of catastrophic health payments. The availability of improved drinking water sources and toilet facilities reduces the risk of catastrophic health payments. Households with female heads incur more catastrophic payments as compared to households headed by males. Across the provinces, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have faced a higher incidence of catastrophic payments. Catastrophic health payments have an impoverishing impact on headcount poverty, measured under various methods of propensity score matching. JEL Classifications: I13, I14, I32 Keywords: Out-of-pocket Payments, Health, Consumption, Poverty, Health Policy

Shujaat Farooq,

Faham Masud

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