Uzochukwu Amakom and Uju Ezenekwe
Ensuring sustained improvements in the living standard of the citizenry has led every government evolving development plans to facilitate effective mobilization, management and optimal use of financial resources. The healthcare sector is one of such sectors that requires sustainable investments for any economy to move towards high pedestal of living standard but when such is not happening, households will be forced to spend more in order to provide such services. Based on the foregoing argument, this study analysed the out of pocket healthcare spending of Nigerian households to determine if they are catastrophic. Using intensity and incidence methods, findings revealed that 24% of Nigerian households incur catastrophic health expenditure and this was more prevalent among the richest income quintiles in Nigeria and as such has succeeded in changing the poverty situation (pushing households below poverty line) of most households who were originally on or above the poverty line. The study recommended the need for expansion of social health insurance through the National Health Insurance Scheme to cover the informal sector as a means of increasing resources for healthcare services to ensure universal access and the provision of financial protection to the poor and vulnerable.
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