Substantial out-of-pocket health expenditure on prenatal check-ups: estimates from a sample of pregnant women in Cartagena, Colombia
Artículo de revista
Dove Medical Press Limited
ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research
Objective: We aimed to estimate out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditures and the indirect costs related to prenatal check-ups in pregnant women seen in a maternity hospital in the Colombian Caribbean region. Methods: We described the economic costs of pregnant women, with no age limits, who attended prenatal check-ups in a maternity hospital. To estimate OOP and indirect costs owing to prenatal check-ups in pregnant women, a survey was constructed, where the woman was asked about some sociodemographic variables, to characterize those attending the prenatal check-ups. Absolute and relative frequencies, averages and confidence intervals were used to characterize the population and estimate OOP and indirect costs in pregnant women. The latter were estimated from the percentile method. A bootstrapping was performed to reduce the bias within the analysis. Results: In total, 56 pregnant women were surveyed, with an average age of 25.9 years (±6.2). All women surveyed had OOP associated to the prenatal check-up in at least one costitem, and the OOP ranged between $0.3 and $108.7. Transportation was the item with the highest frequency of expenses, followed by food, other expenses, and drugs. The mean of OOP expenditures was $24.3 (CI 95% $18.1–31.4) for women who attended their prenatal check-up. Discussion: Considering the estimated OOP health expenditures caused by prenatal checkups by household income, women living with 2–3 minimum wages, these proportions were 5%, 3%, respectively. Unfortunately, this makes prenatal care a significant source of economic burden, impacting poor households in Cartagena.
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