Financial risks from ill health in Myanmar: evidence and policy implications

Soe Htet, Victoria Fan, Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Ajay Singh Mahal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The government of Myanmar, with support from international donors, plans to address household financial risks from ill health and expand coverage. But evidence to design policy is limited. WHS (World Health Survey) data for 6045 households were used to investigate the association of out-of-pocket (OOP) health spending, catastrophic expenditures, and household borrowing and asset sales associated with illness with key socioeconomic and demographic correlates in Myanmar. Households with elderly and young children and chronically ill individuals, poor households, and ethnic minorities face higher financial stress from illness. Rural households use less care, suggesting their lower OOP health spending may be at the cost of health. Poorer groups rely more on public sector health services than richer groups. Better targeting, increased budgetary allocations, and more effective use of resources via designing cost-effective benefits packages appear key to sustainably addressing financial risks from ill health in Myanmar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418 - 428
Number of pages11
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this