Government health care spending and the poor: evidence from Nigeria
Lloyd Ahamefule Amaghionyeodiwe
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine whether or not government health care spending reduces the poor-rich differences in health status. Specifically, it aims to assess the health status of the poor vis-à-vis government health spending in Nigeria. Design/methodology/approach – Regression analysis was carried out using the Ordinary Least Square method of estimation while secondary data was used. Findings – It was found that despite the increase in most components of health care spending in Nigeria, the health status of the average Nigerian and the condition of health infrastructure has not improved appreciably. Also, the poor have significantly worse health status than the non-poor and they (the poor) are more strongly affected by public spending on health care relative to the non-poor. Thus, the difference in impact of spending between the poor and the non-poor could be substantial. Originality/value – This study provides information that will help reposition policies on government spending, especially on health care, so as to enhance and improve the heath status of the poor in Nigeria, thereby reducing the poor-rich differences in health status.
Expenditure, Government policy, Health services, Nigeria, Poverty, Public finance
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