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Title: Who benefits from healthcare spending in Cambodia? Evidence for a universal health coverage policy
Authors: Augustine D. Asante
Por Ir
Bart Jacobs
Limwattananon Supon
Marco Liverani
Andrew Hayen
Stephen Jan
Virginia Wiseman
George Institute for Global Health
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia
Kirby Institute
University of Technology Sydney
Khon Kaen University
Mahidol University
Nagasaki University
National Institute of Public Health
Keywords: Medicine
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2019
Citation: Health Policy and Planning. Vol.34, (2019), i4-i13
Abstract: © 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Cambodia's healthcare system has seen significant improvements in the last two decades. Despite this, access to quality care remains problematic, particularly for poor rural Cambodians. The government has committed to universal health coverage (UHC) and is reforming the health financing system to align with this goal. The extent to which the reforms have impacted the poor is not always clear. Using a system-wide approach, this study assesses how benefits from healthcare spending are distributed across socioeconomic groups in Cambodia. Benefit incidence analysis was employed to assess the distribution of benefits from health spending. Primary data on the use of health services and the costs associated with it were collected through a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of 5000 households. Secondary data from the 2012-14 Cambodia National Health Accounts and other official documents were used to estimate the unit costs of services. The results indicate that benefits from health spending at the primary care level in the public sector are distributed in favour of the poor, with about 32% of health centre benefits going to the poorest population quintile. Public hospital outpatient benefits are quite evenly distributed across all wealth quintiles, although the concentration index of -0.058 suggests a moderately pro-poor distribution. Benefits for public hospital inpatient care are substantially pro-poor. The private sector was significantly skewed towards the richest quintile. Relative to health need, the distribution of total benefits in the public sector is pro-poor while the private sector is relatively pro-rich. Looking across the entire health system, health financing in Cambodia appears to benefit the poor more than the rich but a significant proportion of spending remains in the private sector which is largely pro-rich. There is the need for some government regulation of the private sector if Cambodia is to achieve its UHC goals.
ISSN: 14602237
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2019

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