Medical Costs Push Millions of People Into Poverty Across The Globe

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Affordable Health Insurance for The Poor

Each year 100 million people slide into poverty as a result of medical care payments. Another 150 million people are forced to spend nearly half their incomes on medical expenses. That is because in many countries people have no access to social health protection - affordable health insurance or government-funded health services.

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Paradoxically, people in the world's poorest countries contribute relatively more for health care than those in wealthy industrialized nations. In Germany, for example, where the average GDP per capita is US$ 32 860 and almost everyone has social health protection, 10% of all medical expenses nationwide are borne by households. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by contrast, where GDP per capita is only US$ 120 and where social health protection is scant, about 70% of the money spent on medical care is paid directly by households.

This week, experts from some 40 countries meeting in Berlin at a conference convened by the Deutsche Gesellschaft f

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