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Public Health Expenditure and Health Status in Ghana

Boachie, Micheal Kofi and Ramu, K. (2015): Public Health Expenditure and Health Status in Ghana.

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Abstract

Health is an important component of human capital yielding economic returns to its investors. It also improves people’s welfare. Investment in health, therefore, is an important source of productivity, growth and quality of life. In this study, we examined the impact of public health spending on health status, i.e., infant mortality, in Ghana. The study employed standard OLS and Newey-west estimation to examine the impact of public health spending on health status (i.e. infant mortality rate) for the period 1990 – 2012. After controlling for real per capita income, literacy level, and female participation in the labour market, we find evidence that the declining or falling infant mortality rate in Ghana has been influenced by public health spending among other factors. Thus, public healthcare expenditure is associated with improvement in health status through reduction in infant mortality. The implications for policy are discussed.

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