Public expenditures and health care in Africa
Unfavorable economic conditions in most of Africa (in this paper Africa refers to Sub-Saharan Africa only) have meant public austerity and a deceleration in government health spending. Given the dominant role of government in providing health services in Africa there is a need to investigate the links between public spending and the provision of health care. Analyzing information from five Sub-Saharan African countries, namely Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal, we investigate the impacts of shifting expenditure patterns and levels on the process of providing health services as well as on delivery of health care. The country analyses indicate that in addition to the level of public spending, the expenditure mix (i.e. salaries, drugs, supplies etc.), the composition of the health infrastructure (hospitals, clinics, health posts etc.), community efforts, and the availability of private health care all influence health care delivery. Consequently, per capital public expenditure (the most important indicator in a number of related studies) alone as a measure of the availability of health care and especially for cross-country comparisons is inadequate. Reductions in government resources for health care often result inless efficient mixing of resources and hence less health care delivery, in quality and quantity terms. With the recent trends in health care spending in Africa there should be greater effort to increase the efficient use of these increasingly scarce resources, yet the trend in resource mix has been in the opposite direction. Given the input to public health care of local communities, as well as the provision of private health care, it would seem that government spending on health care should be counter-cyclical, i.e. government health spending should accelerate during periods of economic down turns. Such counter-cyclical spending would tend to offset the difficulties facing local communities and the declining ability of individuals to pay for private health care. Recommending counter-cyclical health spending may seem wishful, but it points up the necessity of understanding what is likely to happen to health care in African countries in the face of economic difficulties, and particularly in the face of fiscal austerity.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 34 (1992)
Issue (Month): 6 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:34:y:1992:i:6:p:615-624. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.