One billion can’t afford health care, WHO says

Paying for healthcare pushes 100 million into poverty per year


 

According to the World Health Organization, around one billion people around the world can’t afford any health services, and 100 million are pushed into poverty each year trying to pay for it. All countries, rich and poor, could do more to encourage universal coverage, says the UN body’s global report on financing health systems, urging countries to think about new taxes, efficiencies and other ways to boost access. The World Health Reports 2010 found that direct, out-of-pocket payments should make up less than 15 to 20 per cent of a country’s total spending. Even so, in 22 mostly low and middle-income countries, direct payments from people receiving healthcare still account for more than 50 per cent of total health spending.

Reuters


 
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