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Risks 2018, 6(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/risks6030081

Health Insurance in Myanmar: The Views and Perception of Healthcare Consumers and Health System Informants on the Establishment of a Nationwide Health Insurance System

1
Department of Family Medicine, CAPHRI, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
2
Department of Health Services Research, CAPHRI, Maastricht University Medical Center, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
3
Top Institute Evidence-Based Education Research (TIER), Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract

(1) Background: Health insurance and social protection in Myanmar are negligible, which leaves many citizens at risk of financial hardship in case of a serious illness. The aim of this study is to explore the views of healthcare consumers and compare them to the views of key informants on the design and implementation of a nationwide health insurance system in Myanmar. (2) Method: Data were collected through nine focus group discussions with healthcare consumers and six semi-structured interviews with key health system informants. (3) Results: The consumers supported a mandatory basic health insurance and voluntary supplementary health insurance. Tax-based funding was suggested as an option that can help to enhance healthcare utilization among the poor and vulnerable groups. However, a fully tax-based funding was perceived to have limited chances of success given the low level of government resources available. Community-based insurance, where community members pool money in a healthcare fund, was seen as more appropriate for the rural areas. (4) Conclusion: This study suggests a healthcare financing mechanism based on a mixed insurance model for the creation of nationwide health insurance. Further inquiry into the feasibility of the vital aspects of the nationwide health insurance is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: basic health insurance; voluntary supplementary health insurance; tax-based funding; community-based insurance; Myanmar basic health insurance; voluntary supplementary health insurance; tax-based funding; community-based insurance; Myanmar
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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van Rooijen, M.; Myint, C.-Y.; Pavlova, M.; Groot, W. Health Insurance in Myanmar: The Views and Perception of Healthcare Consumers and Health System Informants on the Establishment of a Nationwide Health Insurance System. Risks 2018, 6, 81.

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