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Title The Cost of Postabortion Care and Legal Abortion In Colombia
Author(s) Elena Prada, Isaac Maddow- Zimet and Fatima Juarez - Personal Name
Subject Reproductive Health
Publisher Guttmacher Institute
Publishing Year 2013
Specific Detail Info CONTEXT: Although Colombia partially liberalized its abortion law in 2006, many abortions continue to occur outside the law and result in complications. Assessing the costs to the health care system of safe, legal abortions and of treating complications of unsafe, illegal abortions has important policy implications. METHODS: The Post-Abortion Care Costing Methodology was used to produce estimates of direct and indirect costs of postabortion care and direct costs of legal abortions in Colombia. Data on estimated costs were obtained through structured interviews with key informants at a randomly selected sample of facilities that provide abortion- related care, including 25 public and private secondary and tertiary facilities and five primary-level private facilities that provide specialized reproductive health services. RESULTS: The median direct cost of treating a woman with abortion complications ranged from $44 to $141 (in U.S. dollars), representing an annual direct cost to the health system of about $14 million per year. A legal abortion at a secondary or tertiary facility was costly (medians, $213 and $189, respectively), in part because of the use of dilation and curettage, as well as because of administrative barriers. At specialized facilities, where manual vacuum aspiration and medication abortion are used, the median cost of provision was much lower ($45). CONCLUSIONS: Provision of postabortion care and legal abortion services at higher-level facilities results in unnecessarily high health care costs. These costs can be reduced significantly by providing services in a timely fashion at primary-level facilities and by using safe, non invasive and less costly abortion methods.
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