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Distribution of the benefits from public health expenditures in Ghana

Micheal Kofi Boachie () and K. Ramu
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Micheal Kofi Boachie: Annamalai University
K. Ramu: Annamalai University

Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, 2018, vol. 52, issue 1, 415-430

Abstract: Abstract Government intervention in the healthcare market is, partly, justified on grounds of equity and redistribution. The intervention usually comes in the form of expenditures—direct provision of care and subsidies—in many developing countries. Given the expected redistributive impact of public health expenditures, the aim of this paper was to establish the beneficiaries of public health spending in Ghana using utilisation data for outpatient care. We applied utilisation incidence analysis on outpatient healthcare utilisation data from the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health, Ghana Wave 1 to conduct the analysis. The results show that ill-health was high in the rural areas, particularly among low income groups. While utilisation of public healthcare facilities for outpatient care was generally high, there was some disparities in utilisation. That is, utilisation of public health services, especially hospital care, was unfairly distributed among various income/wealth groups. Implications of these findings are that policymakers should continue to devise means to ensure equitable and even distribution of healthcare services, particularly hospital care, so that the poor and other vulnerable groups, whose plight call for government intervention, benefit.

Keywords: Public health expenditures; Equity; Healthcare utilisation; Benefit/utilisation incidence analysis; Ghana (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:52:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11135-017-0475-x