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Submitted by Omer Zang on

Who protects whom?
Indicators on financial protection should be accompanied by the simple question of “who protects whom?” In Cameroon - a country with at least 56% of out-of-pockets (OOP) expenditure on health -, latest assessments of household financial protection show that the better-off spend more on health care as a percentage of their revenue than the poorer. In terms of equity, this sounds like a good result, but it is not. Actually, given the high level of OOP, poor households have developed mitigation mechanism (self-financial protection) ranging from informal/traditional self-treatment to buying illicit drugs on the street through refraining themselves from seeking conventional care until they have no other alternatives. Within 5 years (from 2007 to 2012), non-conventional health care demand (utilization) has increased by 10% among the two poorer quintiles, and has decreased by as much among the two richer quintiles.
I therefore understand the idea of pushing for a health insurance coverage that addresses more or less the issue of the quality of the financial protection.
At the root of these two points, I would say YES for an indicator on financial protection - BUT a financial protection after using formal (conventional) health care.