Kenya’s comparison of Out of pocket expenditure on Health with its peers

Post Date: 22 January 2020   |   Category: Health   |   Hits: 2492

Out-of-pocket (OOP) payments are spending on health made directly by households. OOP payment introduce financial burden or risk to the household, eating into household budgets. Therefore, efforts towards reduction of OOP, through prepayment mechanism (insurance) government spending, etc. has an impact on increasing affordability and access to health which is key enabler in meeting the constitutional right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services for every Kenyan as provided for under Article 43(1).

This short blog provides a comparison of Kenya’s Out-of-pocket spending on health ratio with its regional peers.


In the advent of increased Non-Communicable Diseases such as cancer that require long time treatment, reduction of the Out-of-pocket payments is key in sustaining affordability and access to health care services. These can be achieved through increased insurance both by the government and the private sector. 

Number of the Week: 27.7% (Out-of-pocket expenditure on Health)

  • Out-of-pocket payments as a share of total health expenditure are 27.7%, implying that out of every Ksh 100 that a Kenyan spends on health, Ksh 28 is out of his/her pocket. The rest is either subsidized by government/donors or is through insurance. 
  •  Uganda has the highest ratio at 40.3%, out of the select countries.
  •  Averagely Ghanaians spend 37.8% of their health expenditure out of their pocket.
  • Tanzania’s Out of Pocket Spending is 5.8 percentage points below Kenya’s 
  • South Africa and Rwanda are the best performing at 7.8% and 6.4         
  • Kenya is Out-of-pocket ratio is above the average of the select countries by 4.1 percentage points.