The Double-Edged Sword: Financial Source of Household Healthcare Expenditure in Ghana

Henry Tagoe, University of Ghana

In many regions, some of the most formidable enemies of health are joining forces with the allies of poverty to impose a double burden of disease, disability and premature death in many societies. This article identifies the main financial sources used by households to finance household health care. The article examines the spatial and socio-economic status (SES) dynamics and the challenges this poses to health and development. Data from the Ghana 2003 World Health Survey (WHS) was analyzed descriptively. Approximately 40% of households depend on more than one financial source with 88% depending on household income to finance household healthcare expenditure. The high dependency on household income will erode gains in the economic and health sector in the face of global economic recession. Comprehensive reforms with national health insurance programs that cover emerging disease conditions will mitigate the strain of the double burden of disease on households in emerging economies.

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Presented in Session 125: Health Insurance and Health Care Utilization