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Health, social policy, and inclusive growth in MENA

Listed author(s):
  • Randa Alami


    (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)

This paper takes stock of the current status of health sectors in MENA. From the narrow perspective of national aggregate indicators, as with most middle income countries, the region has seen significant achievements. Yet, health sectors face systemic challenges, and suffer from significant and persistent inequities in health outcomes, access, delivery, and distribution of health services. Out of pocket spending levels are amongst the highest in the world, and are driven by: privatisation, poor social protection and insurance coverage, and the inability to respond to the epidemiological transition. Consequently, the financial burden of healthcare forces significant swathes of the population into poverty, or to forgo healthcare altogether. Sectoral policies have been piecemeal and short-termist, with a clear neglect of public health sectors. These deficiencies are more evident if MENA is benchmarked against many of their peers, or against the international consensus of Universal Health Care (UHC).

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK in its series Working Papers with number 188.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:188
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