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WTO patient costs poverty report.

THE WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) is warning that around 100 million people fall into poverty every year because of medical care payments they cannot afford. It adds that an additional 150 million people spend nearly half their incomes on medical expenses. This, said a WHO statement, is "because in many countries people have no access to social health protection--affordable health insurance or government-funded health services", especially in the developing world. Because its governments are often to poor to afford medical care, their cash strapped citizens meet the bulk of family medical expenses. For instance, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a GDP per capita of only US$120, households pay 70% of medical bills. In Germany however, average GDP per capita is US$32,860, but its rich government still pays 90% of medical expenses. Dr Timothy Evans, WHO assistant director-general said: "Countries must begin now to craft well-organized schemes, and international donors will have to help".
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Author:Nuthall, Keith
Publication:International News
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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