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Out of pocket payments and access to NCD medication in two regions in Albania
JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift)
ID 4651578
Author(s) Gabrani, J.; Schindler, C.; Wyss, K.
Author(s) at UniBasel Gabrani, Jonila
Schindler, Christian
Wyss, Kaspar
Year 2022
Title Out of pocket payments and access to NCD medication in two regions in Albania
Journal PLoS One
Volume 17
Number 8
Pages / Article-Number e0272221
Mesh terms Aged; Albania; Chronic Disease; Family Characteristics; Health Expenditures; Humans; Middle Aged; Noncommunicable Diseases; Universal Health Insurance
Abstract OBJECTIVE: The financial burden from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is a threat worldwide, alleviated only when good social protection schemes are in place. Albeit the Government in Albania has committed to Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC), Out-of-Pockets (OOPs) persist. Through this study, we aimed to assess the OOPs related to consultations, diagnostic tests, and medicine prescriptions as self-reported by people suffering from NCDs. METHODS: A household survey was conducted in two regions of Albania. The present analysis includes respondents who suffered from chronic health conditions and consulted a health care provider within the last 8 weeks (n = 898). Mixed logistic regression models with random intercepts at the level of communities were employed in order to assess the association of OOPs with age, gender, urban vs. rural residency, health insurance, marital status, barriers experienced, type of chronic condition(s) and region. RESULTS: Of those who consulted a provider, 95% also received a drug prescription. Among them, 94% were able to obtain all the drugs prescribed. Out-of-pocket payments occurred throughout the NCD treatment process; specifically, for consultation (36%), diagnostic tests (33%), and drugs purchased (88%). Drug expenditures accounted for 62% of all household expenditures. Respondents with health insurance were less likely to pay for consultation and drugs. The elderly (patients above 60 years old) were less likely to pay for consultations and tests. Those who lived in urban areas were less likely to pay for drugs and consultations. Patients encountering any form of barrier when seeking care had increased odds of OOPs for consultations (OR; 2.25 95%-CI; 1.57; 3.23) and tests (OR; 1.71 95%-CI; 1.19; 2.45). CONCLUSION: Out-of-pocket payments by NCD patients principally made up through the purchase of prescribed drugs, remain important. Tackling the high costs of drugs will be important to accelerate the UHC agenda. Here, it is important to raise the population's awareness on patients' knowledge of their entitlements to health insurance, and on the current health reforms.
ISSN/ISBN 1932-6203 (Electronic)1932-6203 (Linking)
Full Text on edoc Available
Digital Object Identifier DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0272221
PubMed ID
ISI-Number MEDLINE:35947544
Document type (ISI) Journal Article

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