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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

CID PEDRAZA, Camilo  and  PRIETO TOLEDO, Lorena. Out-of-pocket health spending: the case of Chile, 1997 and 2007. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.4, pp. 310-316. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000400007.

OBJECTIVE: Determine the impact, characteristics, and changes in out-of-pocket health spending of households in Chile in 1997 and 2007. METHODS: A descriptive econometric study was conducted based on household surveys with cross-sectional information on spending in two years-1997 and 2007-for Greater Santiago. The evolution of indicators of per capita household spending by quintile was reviewed. The method proposed by the World Health Organization was used for econometric analysis of the determinants of out-of-pocket spending and catastrophic spending. The Gini indices were also calculated to analyze equity. RESULTS: Out-of-pocket health spending in the households of Greater Santiago increased significantly (39.5% per capita). The ratio of health spending in quintile 5 compared to quintile 1 decreased, but the increase in spending was less in quintile 5. In 2007, out-of-pocket spending was still determined by the presence of risk groups: under 5 years and, although to a lesser extent, over 65 years of age. Catastrophic spending decreased slightly and the presence of older adults continues to increase this risk. The presence of women of childbearing age tends to minimize out-of-pocket spending. CONCLUSIONS: Out-of-pocket health spending in the households is high and has increased. It continues to have a significant influence on inequality. The effects of out-of-pocket spending containment programs such as AUGE are evident, but new financial protection policies that address the problem are needed.

Keywords : Financing, health; health expenditures; financing, personal; equity in health; Chile.

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