To determine the impact of household out-of-pocket health spending, financial protection levels, and their inequality according to relevant variables in the countries of the Region; to investigate their evolution and relationship with health system services utilization.
Se recopila información descriptiva comparada acerca del gasto de bolsillo, su incidencia en la población, y su peso y composición en el consumo de los hogares. Se presentan indicadores de protección financiera en el nivel nacional y su distribución por quintiles de consumo total de hogares y por género. Se contrastan con un indicador de cobertura de servicios.
Comparative descriptive information was compiled on out-of-pocket spending, its incidence in the population, and its weight and contribution to household consumption. Financial protection indicators for the national level and their distribution by quintiles of total household consumption and by gender are presented, and compared to an indicator of service coverage.
Lack of financial protection affects a large part of the population. Additionally, there are groups of countries with greater difficulties than others, where a preponderance of spending is on medicines, and there is greater exposure of groups in conditions of vulnerability, such as the poorest and women, indicating great inequity. Policies of some countries that can be associated with improvement in financial protection are identified. To replace out-of-pocket spending, which is a barrier to access, countries need to increase public spending by financing health systems undergoing transformation toward universal health.