Can people afford to pay for healthcare?

New evidence on financial protection in Europe

Thursday, 3 October 2019 | 16:00-18:30 | Room 2

Organised by WHO Regional Office for Europe

Financial protection, achieved when out-of-pocket payments for health services do not expose people to financial hardship, is at the core of universal health coverage. Policy around copayments plays a large role, as new evidence from WHO shows that copayments often lead to financial hardship for households – but some aspects of copayment policy design are more harmful than others.

Complex, unfair, ineffective and bureaucratic copayments can be transformed to reduce financial hardship and unmet need for prescribed medicines, and this session will explore how. We will hear a summary of select results from WHO's new analysis of financial protection, discuss reforms in European countries that have transformed copayment policy to protect people and serve health system goals, and together explore how obstacles to fair copayment policy and financial protection can be overcome in the future.

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Session Recording

Speakers & panellists


  • Jonathan Cylus, Technical Officer and Research Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Stefan Eichwalder, Head of department for DRG and health economics, Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection
  • Tamás Evetovits, Head, WHO Regional Office for Europe
  • Triin Habicht, Head of Department, Estonian Health Insurance Fund
  • Martin Seychell, Deputy Director-General, DG SANTE, European Commission
  • Sarah Thomson, Senior Health Financing Specialist, WHO Regional Office for Europe
  • Kaisa Immonen, Director of Policy, European Patients’ Forum


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