Trends in Out-of-Pocket Payments for Health Care in Kyrgyzstan, 2001–2007

Type Journal Article - Health Policy Planning
Title Trends in Out-of-Pocket Payments for Health Care in Kyrgyzstan, 2001–2007
Volume 25
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 427-436
Within the countries of the former Soviet Union, the Kyrgyz Republic has been a pioneer in reforming the system of health care finance. Since the introduction of its compulsory health insurance fund in 1997, the country has gradually moved from subsidizing the supply of services to subsidizing the purchase of services through the ‘single payer’ of the health insurance fund. In 2002 the government introduced a new co-payment for inpatients along with a basic benefit package. A key objective of the reforms has been to replace the burgeoning system of unofficial informal payments for health care with a transparent official co-payment, thereby reducing the financial burden of health care spending for the poor. This article investigates trends in out-of-pocket payments for health care using the results of a series of nationally representative household surveys conducted over the period 2001–2007, when the reforms were being rolled out. The analysis shows that there has been a significant improvement in financial access to health care amongst the population. The proportion paying state providers for consultations fell between 2004 and 2007. As a result of the introduction of co-payments for hospital care, fewer inpatients report making payments to medical personnel, but when they are made, payments are high, especially to surgeons and anaesthetists. However, although financial access for outpatient care has improved, the burden of health care payments amongst the poor remains significant.

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