Impact of Out-of-Pocket Expenditures on Families and Barriers to Use of Maternal and Child Health Services in the Lao People's Democratic Republic

Publication | December 2012

To improve access to maternal and child health services and their outcomes, the Lao PDR should focus on expanding the service delivery network in rural areas to give more families ready access to healthcare facilities.

This policy brief presents findings from analysis of the Lao Expenditure and Consumption Survey 2007-2008 (LECS4) (Lao Statistics Bureau 2008). It also reveals significant inequalities in the use of, and access to, basic healthcare services, with travel and cost being the most significant barriers.

This national survey of 8,296 households (48,021 individuals) collects data on household consumption and living standards, and includes a module on healthcare use and spending. Using the detailed household consumption section of the survey, this policy brief groups the population into equal quintiles of consumption per adult equivalent, as a measure of relative living standards and socioeconomic grouping.