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Health, social policy, and inclusive growth in MENA


  • 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).

Suggested Citation

  • Randa Alami, 2014. "Health, social policy, and inclusive growth in MENA," Working Papers 188, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:188

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Health and Inclusive Growth in MENA
      by pmakdissi in NEP-ARA blog on 2015-01-01 02:56:58

    More about this item


    health; health inequity; universal health care; Middle East; inclusive growth;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East

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