Least developed countries have some of the highest rates of private spending on health as a percentage of total health expenditure. In Myanmar, 87 per cent of total health expenditures is private, similar to the 83 per cent in Afghanistan. In South and South-West Asia, private expenditure as a percentage of all expenditure on health is over 70 per cent in Bangladesh (also a least developed country) and India and 80 per cent in Pakistan.
In most of the Pacific subregion, on the other hand, private spending as a share of total expenditure on health is below 30 per cent, the 38 per cent of Fiji being the only exception. These levels are similar to those attained by the developed economies of Asia and the Pacific, since in Australia private spending on health is 33 per cent, and in both Japan and New Zealand it is less than 30 per cent.
Generally, private expenditure on health is out-of-pocket spending. For more than two thirds of all countries in the Asian and Pacific region, out-of-pocket expenditure exceeds 80 per cent, which carries significant implications for low-income households, particularly in emergencies or in case of chronic diseases.