Does Spending Matter in Improving Healthcare Across MENA Region

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Nayef N. Alshammari , Wael M. Alshuwaiee , Ibrahim Mirza

Abstract

This study addresses the impact of healthcare spending on quality of health. Particularly, it
investigates the impact of health budget allocation, health system performance, a nation’s
income, and demographic aspects on prompting health quality across the MENA region. The
yearly data sample used covers the period 1995–2016. The estimated model is tested using the
appropriate GLS random effects method. The findings do not show support for public spending
on healthcare to improve healthcare quality across the MENA region. However, higher private
spending on healthcare leads to lower infant mortality rates, thus improving healthcare quality.
The results also show that the improvement in income per-capita for oil-exporting countries
leads to improved quality of healthcare as well as in non-oil-exporting countries, however the
marginal benefit is lower for oil-exporting countries, compared to non-oil-exporting countries.
This might suggest that oil-exporting countries have already reached a significant floor level
of infant mortality rate that cannot be improved. However, non-oil-exporting countries still
have potential to reduce the infant mortality rate and improve the quality of healthcare.

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Keywords

Health Quality
Budget Allocation
Oil Exporters
MENA

Section
Articles
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