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BackgroundOut-of-pocket (OOP) payments for healthcare have been increasing steadily in Bangladesh, which deteriorates the financial risk protection of many households.MethodsWe aimed to investigate the incidence of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) and impoverishment from OOP payments and their determinants. We employed nationally representative Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2016 data with a sample of 46 076 households. A household that made OOP payments of >10% of its total or 40% of its non-food expenditure was considered to be facing CHE. We estimated the impoverishment using both national and international poverty lines. Multiple logistic models were employed to identify the determinants of CHE and impoverishment.ResultsThe incidence of CHE was estimated as 24.6% and 10.9% using 10% of the total and 40% of non-food expenditure as thresholds, respectively, and these were concentrated among the poor. About 4.5% of the population (8.61 million) fell into poverty during 2016. Utilization of private facilities, the presence of older people, chronic illness and geographical location were the main determinants of both CHE and impoverishment.ConclusionThe financial hardship due to OOP payments was high and it should be reduced by regulating the private health sector and covering the care of older people and chronic illness by prepayment-financing mechanisms.

Original publication





International health

Publication Date



Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK.