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Submitted by David Dror on

Is there real scope to change the SDGs so as to include more meaningful indicators of enhanced financial protection? If yes, I would suggest another indicator: the degree of "hardship financing" people are exposed to; in many instances, people must borrow money with interest, liquidate savings or sell assets in order to pay for their health expenditures. The cost of interest is additional to the cost of care, and there is evidence that it can be considerable, and occur not just in cases of inpatient care but also for outpatient care and even maternity care. As hardship financing occurs everywhere, and can be expressed as % of income (or a proxy, such as monthly per capita expenditure), it is more relevant that limiting the measurement to the healthcare costs, or - as proposed in this blog earlier - to only the rather limited segment of cases where healthcare expenses cost more than 10% of income. The cost of the money to pay for healthcare is no less catastrophic than the cost providers charge, and therefore hardship financing may be a more pointed indicator. One could of course easily devise a combination of both types of costs, but I would think that "hardship financing" is sufficient by itself.
It is certainly more meaningful than counting the number of people that are insured, because