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Background: Having access to convenient and quality healthcare at all times is not only a human right but also a goal that many countries strive to achieve for their population. However, access to healthcare might face blocks in the presence of financial exclusions. Saudi Arabia has, over the years, continued to pursue policy and system reforms to enhance its population’s access to financial inclusion, as well as proper health coverage to improve health outcomes. This study seeks to estimate the effects of financial inclusion on the financial hardships in accessing healthcare in Saudi Arabia. Methods: This study uses a nationally representative survey conducted with 1009 adults, using the 2017 World Bank Global Findex Study data. The study estimates the conditional probability of coming up with emergency funds and the conditional probability of borrowing for medical purposes to understand access to healthcare. A composite value is created for financial inclusion using several variables for individuals’ interactions with financial institutions, such as access to financial services and loans. Results: The results revealed that financially included individuals have a higher conditional probability of both borrowing for medical purposes and coming up with emergency funds, compared to those who are financially excluded. Additionally, the study showed that individuals in low-income brackets are more likely to be financially excluded and have a reduced chance of coming up with emergency funds and borrowing for medical purposes. Conclusion: These findings indicate that there is need for authorities to roll out a financial inclusion drive that will not only incentivise the financially excluded population to become included but that will also aim at promoting various financial products so that those who are already financially included have a wide range from which they can choose.
Alhanawi, M. K., Chirwa, G. C., Kamninga, T. M., & Manja, L. P. (2020). Effects of financial inclusion on access to emergency funds for healthcare in the kingdom of saudi arabia. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 13, 1157–1167. https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S277357