Report highlights “catastrophic” personal payments for health care in Asia

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 01 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:447
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. New Delhi

    Bangladesh, China, and India have the highest incidence in Asia of “catastrophic” payments from individuals' own finances to cover healthcare costs—those payments that are so crippling financially that they throw a household into catastrophe.

    Such payments severely disrupt household living standards, a new study has said. The report, published online ahead of print publication on 21 February in Health Economics (, doi: 10.1002/hec.1209), says that patients' own out of pocket payments account for 80% of spending on health care in India and Vietnam and more than 60% in Bangladesh and China. The World Health Organization said in a 2005 report on catastrophic health costs that any spending that was above 40% of non-subsistence income should …

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