Elderly medical care and out-of-pocket medical spending – a thorn in the flesh of senior citizens in Nigeria: review of articles.

Benson Fakuma Nana1*, Ndukwu Geraldine U2
1Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
2Department of Family Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Benson Fakuma Nana; +234 703 441 4272; drbensonfakuma@gmail.com

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Abstract

Background: Ageing is a global trend. The Nigerian population, alongside the world population, is following the pattern of demographic shift, characterised by increasing population of older people. The aged population is faced with health, economic and social challenges. Most Low-and- Middle- Income Countries including Nigeria are yet to provide solutions to the unmet health needs of the aged population as these countries do not have a functional geriatric care policy.
Materials and Method: The literatures under review were searched using the key words ‘health insurance’, ‘out-of-pocket’, ‘elderly medical care’ and the names of respective countries and continents as contained in this article, without limitation to year of publication.
Results: The major source of health care funding for elderly in Nigeria and other Low-and-Middle-Income- Countries is by out-of-pocket payment. This method of payment can lead to financial catastrophe. The method of health care financing greatly affects access and utilisation of health care services by senior citizens.
Conclusion: The government of Nigeria and other countries in sub- Saharan Africa should consider the impact of out-of-pocket payment on access and utilization of healthcare services by senior citizens. Government should develop and implement policies on geriatric care models and health insurance scheme for the aged.

Keywords: Out-of-pocket, Ageing, Health financing, Elderly care, Spending.

Cite this article: Benson FN, Ndukwu GU. Elderly medical care and out-of-pocket medical spending – a thorn in the flesh of senior citizens in Nigeria: review of articles. Yen Med J. 2020;2(1):145–156.

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