Information Barriers to Social Health Protection in Pakistan

Thursday, April 20, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Online via Zoom Webinar

  • Andreas Landmann
Flyer for "Information Barriers to Social Health Protection in Pakistan"

Co-sponsored by Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development, and the Asia Health Policy Program

Pakistan followed the example of many large Asian countries and started introducing publicly financed health insurance under the so-called "Sehat Sahulat Program" (SSP) from 2015 onwards. The SSP initially covered hospitalization expenses for poor households in selected districts and by now covers millions of households all over Pakistan. This talk explains the recent reforms, focusing on information barriers to utilizing the SSP. In particular awareness about coverage seems to be a key issue, making the system not easy to navigate for poor households. A first study shows that education plays an important role for successfully utilizing health care under the scheme in this context. Information and awareness about financial protection, however, is only one element of health care decisions. Even if beneficiaries know which household members are covered under which condition in which facility, they might still be unsure about where treatment is most appropriate given their medical condition. A second study thus provides theoretical and empirical evidence on how incomplete financial and medical information jointly affect health provider choices, and how this might explain limited health service utilization under the SSP.

Andreas Landmann

Andreas Landmann is a Full Professor of Development Economics at the Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg where he uses applied econometrics and behavioral research in the area of development economics. A lot of his work investigates insurance in low-income countries, with a special focus on health. In particular, he analyzes different impact evaluations on health insurance provision in Pakistan. Additionally, he is interested in decisions under risk and uncertainty, as well as prosocial preferences. He conducted several large-scale impact evaluations, randomized control trials, and behavioral experiments in the Philippines, Germany, Vietnam, China, and Pakistan, all of them including primary data collection. Prior to joining the FAU, he held research positions at the University of Göttingen, the Paris School of Economics, and the University of Mannheim, from where he also holds a PhD.