Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Systemic healthcare failure as a symptom of market failure in Sierra Leone

Jackson, Emerson Abraham (2019): Systemic healthcare failure as a symptom of market failure in Sierra Leone. Forthcoming in: South African Journal of Public Health , Vol. 3, No. 4 (19 November 2019)

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Abstract

This article provides an examination of market failure, focusing on the health service system (HSS) in Sierra Leone. Market failure in the country’s HSS is a real concern, and has gone unchecked for decades by successive governments. In view of the prevailing conditions, it is noted that government failure is to be blamed for poor conditions experienced in the health sector. The issue of squeezed funding for management of the HSS must be revisited in order to address critical health concerns in the country. Most important to this is the continued rent-seeking that health professionals have thrived on as a free-riding venture, increasing their profit share, while (non-deliberately) depriving the poor and needy of affordable services in state-funded hospitals and healthcare centres. While rent-seeking has been on the rise, conditions of service have fallen behind those needed for health professionals to maintain a decent standard of living, hence the need for government to intervene to mitigate its continuing failure in the country’s HSS.

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