Does disability increase households' health financial risk: evidence from the Uganda demographic and health survey

Glob Health Res Policy. 2022 Jan 5;7(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s41256-021-00235-x.


Background: In the last few years, there has been a worldwide commitment to protect the vulnerable individuals from higher financial risk through out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure. This study examines the influence of disability and socio-demographic factors on households' health financial risks in Uganda.

Methods: We used nationally representative cross-sectional data from the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) collected in 2016 by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) in Uganda. We measured financial risk (households' health expenditure) by money paid for health care services. We estimated the "probit" model to investigate the effect of disability on health financial risk.

Results: A total of 19,305 households were included in this study. Almost 32% of households paid money for health care services access, among which 32% paid through out-of-pocket. Almost 41% of household heads were affected by disability. The majority (73%) of families went to the public sector for health care services. The mean age was 45 years (SD ± 15). We find that disability is significantly associated with the household financial risk (p < 0.01). The private sector's choice for health care services is likely to positively affect the financial risk compared to the public sector (p < 0.01). The wealthier the household was, the more money paid for health service was (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Our results indicated that disability and household socio-demographic characteristics were associated with health financial risk in Uganda. Identifying families with disability and experiencing difficult living conditions constitute an entry point for health authorities to enhance health coverage progress in low and middle-income countries.

Keywords: Disability; Health financial risk; Healthcare Payment; Household Survey; Socio-Demographic; Uganda.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Health Expenditures
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty*
  • Uganda