Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Regressive health funding means the poor drop out of treatment

The poorest people in China face discrimination in health because they pay a disproportionately higher  amount of their income for medical treatment, a new study shows. Researchers have called for further reforms to health funding after they found high levels of inequity in health financing.  In a study of more than 13,000 people they found that low-income households were burdened with a larger share of the health care financing burden in recent years. They generally paid a higher amount of income in tax, yet received less support for health cover and paid more in out-of-pocket payments. The researchers said this shows health insurance system in China is "regressive" and has the effect of excluding the poor from health care because they cannot afford to pay for medical care and so withdraw from treatment.
"Optimizing benefit packages in public health insurance is as important as expanding coverage," they conclude.
Read more: BMC Health Services Research

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