Health Care Expenses Incurred at Household Level

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Total Health Expenditure

  Total health expenditure is the sum of general government and private expenditure on health in a given year.

South East Asia Region (SEAR) vs Health Expenditure

  In member countries, private resource’s contribution for health expenditure is more than half.

  The resources for public health-care services are inadequate. NCDs treatment expenditure is very high, which leads to more poverty.

  In Sri Lanka, even non-poor households are pushed towards poverty because of healthcare expenditure (diabetes treatment).

  The daily cost of hospital stay due to NCDs in a teaching hospital in Sri Lanka was Rs 340.

  In India, household expenditure due to NCDs increased from 32% in 1995 to 47% in 2004, which indicates financial impact of NCDs at the household level. Especially the diabetes treatment cost incurred one third of monthly income.

  Treatment cost for NCDs results in harmful health expenditure.

Distribution of monthly household expenditure, by expense category, Indonesia, 2007

  In India, Cardio vascular disease occurred in atleast one person in a family with catastrophic expenditure among 25% of families and 10% are driven to poverty.

  The situation is much worse with cancer treatment expenses where almost 50% of households with a member with cancer experience and 25% are driven to poverty.

  Hospitalization expenditure for cancers was nearly 160% higher than communicable diseases.

  For treating NCDs, borrowing and sale of assets are the common practices have seen in member countries, which drives people further into debt and poverty.

Loss of wages

  Due to health condition, most of the people with NCDs are unable to continue their work that affects household income.

  NCDs are prolonged in nature. Duration of illness, defined as days when people could not work. In India, the duration of illness was 50 to 70 days.

In India, the total income loss due to chronic diseases was (INR) 1094–1113 billion.




INR 199 billion


INR 163 billion


INR 144–158 billion

Annual income loss from missed work, time for care giving, and premature death among households with a member suffering from an NCD, India, 2004

Source: WHO-2011 report
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