Health Security

Health security has emerged as a major concern among health policy-makers particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It includes the ability to secure adequate healthcare today and the risk of being able to do so in the future as well as impoverishing healthcare expenditure. World health statistics reveal that out-of-pocket payments for healthcare represent from one third to three quarters of the total expenditure in low-income countries. (Gama, 2015 )

However, these payments have a recognized negative impact on low-income households’ welfare. The observed increasing health insecurity among 150 million of the world’s poor has moved social protection in health (SPH) to the top of the agenda among health policy-makers globally. The World Bank describes SPH mechanisms as public interventions that: assist households and communities to better manage financial risks caused by health expenditure as well as provide support to the critical poor. Many such mechanisms aim at removing financial barriers preventing access to uptake of existing healthcare services or providing incentives for their uptake and protecting poor people from the impoverishing effects of medical expenditures. (Gama, 2015 )