Volume 37, Issue 1 (2-2023)                   Med J Islam Repub Iran 2023 | Back to browse issues page

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Mirzaei A, Joshani-kheibari M, Esmaeili R. Comparison of the Distribution of Household Financial Contributions to the Health System before and during COVID-19 Outbreak: Evidence from Nationwide Survey in Iran. Med J Islam Repub Iran 2023; 37 (1) :77-81
URL: http://mjiri.iums.ac.ir/article-1-8278-en.html
Department of Public Health, School of Health, Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran , esmaeili.r@gmu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (524 Views)
Background: Health and economy has substantially been influenced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Because of these impacts, household financial contribution to health system is likely to be changed. This study aimed to compare the distribution of household financial contributions before and during the COVID-19 epidemic.
   Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. The data were obtained from Iran's Households Income and Expenditure Survey as a national representative survey and included 38,328 households in 2019 (before COVID-19) and 37,577 households in 2020 (during COVID-19 pandemic). The household expenditures deflated according to the Consumer Price Index. The indices of households’ out-of-pocket Payments (OPP), catastrophic health expenditures (CHE), and impoverishment were calculated based on a standard methodology. Data analysis was done using an Excel-based software.
   Results: The households' total expenditures declined for both urban and rural areas during the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, health expenditure experienced a negative growth rate for urban and rural households at –25.75% and –15.47%, respectively. The average per capita of OOP annually was 1,220,416 ($41.086 PPP) Rials for urban households and 1,017,760 Rials ($34.263 PPP) for rural households in 2020 (the era of COVID-19), which had dropped –30% and –16%, respectively, relative to 2019 (before COVID-19). The proportional share of health service types from the total health expenditure did not change importantly after the onset of COVID-19. The incidence of CHE and impoverishment due to health payments reduced after the onset of COVID-19.
   Conclusion: The households' health expenditures changed considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic and these changes were the same for the urban and rural areas. Despite COVID-19 multi-faceted shocks, the findings of this study showed a slight decline in the incidence of CHE and impoverishment caused by health expenditures. It might be due to forgone health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from these household surveys have some limits to depicting the real effects of this crisis.
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Type of Study: Original Research | Subject: COVID 19

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