A recent study in Kenya examined patient payments, in public and private sectors, for non-communicable disease (NCD) screening, diagnosis, and treatment, along with an assessment on the affordability of these healthcare services. Data on four targeted diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cancer (breast and cervical)) was collected from facilities, practitioners, government reports, national surveys, and the literature, with costs reported in U.S. dollars.
The findings revealed that screening for breast cancer, diabetes, and hypertension in public facilities cost about $3.90, $4.95, and $8.50, respectively - the same services were generally 4 times more expensive in private facilities. Diagnostic payments ranged from $4 to $400 and $53 to $1,200 in public and private facilities, respectively. Respiratory diseases incurred the lowest diagnostic costs and cancer, the highest. It was found that among the four targeted diseases, curative approach for stage III cervical and breast cancer was the most costly in private facilities ($7,800 and $11,800, respectively).
The most expensive treatment for managing complications of hypertension and diabetes was kidney transplantation, costing $9,200 publicly and $19,700 privately. Services were determined to be largely unaffordable based on service cost relative to household income, and health insurance coverage: the percentage of average yearly income needed for breast cancer treatment in public and private facilities was estimated to be 20% and 150%, respectively. For detailed information about this study, read more here.