Catastrophic Health Expenditure and Poverty in Pakistan

Shujaat Farooq, Faham Masud


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

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