Out-of-pocket expenditure and the Quest for Universal Health Coverage: Lessons learned from implementing innovative health financing schemes in the South-East Asia Region

Meeting Organizer

Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Thailand

Contact Person : Saudamini Dabak,

30 January 2018
09:00 - 12:30 hrs.
Venue : LOTUS SUITE 11

Open to All Participants


Out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) on healthcare can push households into poverty and in the Southeast Asia Region, more than 65 million people have been impoverished on its account. Reducing OOPE of households has therefore been at the forefront of discussions on achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which is one of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Over the last two decades, several countries have experimented with health financing schemes to reduce the barriers in accessing healthcare: in 2012, Myanmar introduced two health financing schemes, the Hospital Equity Fund (HEF) and the Maternal and Child Healthcare Scheme (MCHVS), as part of the Gavi Health Systems Strengthening Support (HSS) to alleviate financial costs of emergency, maternal and child health issues; in India, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) was initiated at the national level to provide financial protection to the poor and vulnerable in the unorganized sector, with several states implementing the scheme; in Thailand, the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) extended public insurance coverage to the entire population; and Vietnam implemented a Social Health Insurance Scheme to cover more than ninety percent of its population.


The overall objective of this session is to learn about experiences of countries in designing, implementing and evaluating innovative health financing schemes to provide financial protection to their populations. In particular, this session will aim: • To present findings of studies conducted on the impact of health financing schemes on OOPE • To learn about the issues related to the design and implementation of the schemes • To discuss the lessons learned from the experience of four countries in reducing OOPE through the schemes and potential solutions for the way forward