Article Report Universal Healthcare
Introduction to the Topic:
Developing countries face a significant challenge when it comes to implement both affordable care and free healthcare to their population. People who live lower income countries tend to have less access to healthcare services compared to people in developing countries. The lack of access and availability of healthcare is a result of various challenges. This essay analyzes different articles that dive into the challenges developing countries face in trying to fashion efficient healthcare systems while guaranteeing universal access to citizens.
A Review of a Study on the Income Elasticity of Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Expenditure in Mauritius
Jeetoo, J., & Jaunky, V. C. (2022). An Empirical Analysis of Income Elasticity of Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Expenditure in Mauritius. Healthcare, 10(1), 101.
The primary research question is whether out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure is a luxury, or a need in Mauritius based on the ‘income elasticity of healthcare spending.’ Applied research is the study of how natural science is applied in real-world circumstances. Its goal is to develop cutting-edge technology and deliver practical solutions to specific issues. The study in issue is considered applied research since it investigates human behavior with the purpose of finding a solution to an economic problem.
The study’s theoretical model is based on the Engel Curve Framework (ECF), which depicts the relationship between “family expenditure and household income for a certain item.” The ECF, which is based on income elasticity, may be used to evaluate the expenditure trends in households. Income elasticity is also referred to as ‘inversely proportional to income.’ The study adheres to a conceptual framework by Kumara and Samaratunge in investigating other demand and supply-side factors in addition to income. Household composition, family income as a demand-side components, and supply-side variables such as private-sector bed availability have all been investigated as predictors of healthcare spending in the past.
Mauritian household economic data and an Engel curve framework are utilized to examine ‘the income elasticity of out-of-pocket healthcare spending.’ Due to a lack of data that is collected sequentially from the same respondents over time, on out-of-pocket health spending patterns, the article advises adopting a pseudo-panel approach using cross-sectional Household Budget Survey cycles conducted between 1996 and 2017. The study analyzed quantitative data from 2002 to 2017 to show how out-of-pocket healthcare spending has evolved as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product and as a percentage of total healthcare spending.
Quantitative data on the change in the number of hospital admissions compared to private hospitals is also studied from 2003 to 2018. While government hospital in-patient hospitalizations climbed marginally by 12,655 patients from 2003 to 2018, private clinic admissions surged tenfold, by 235,460 patients from 2003 to 2018. The above-mentioned pattern depicts a shift in focus on healthcare financing from the government to the private sector. If current trends continue, the middle class and upper-class willingness to pay taxes for public healthcare services may dwindle, and they may eventually chose not to participate in the system.
The paper employs cross-sectional information from numerous waves of Statistics Mauritius’ Household Budget Survey, which collects data on family incomes, constitution, and other social and economic factors from “representative samples” of the Mauritian populace. The Household Budget Survey is conducted every five years. From 1996/97 through 2017, information from the Household Budget Survey was utilized for five years. Previous Household Budget Survey datasets (before to 1996) lacked the level of detail required for the research. In 1996-1997, 6240 households were polled, followed by 6720 households in 2001-02, 6720 households in 2006-07, 6720 households in 2012, and 7000 houses in 2017.
The findings corroborate classic economic thinking by showing that out-of-pocket healthcare spending has a “positive income elasticity.” Where the pseudo-panel analysis is utilized in the study, the income elasticity of out-of-pocket health expenditure (OOPHE) is shown to be less than but close to unitary (about +0.938), indicating that OOPHE is a need rather than a luxury in Mauritius. The revelation that out-of-pocket healthcare expenses are a need rather than a luxury answers the research question right away. The income elasticity of OOPHE grew from 1996/97 to 2017, other than in 2012, when it declined considerably, according to the research findings. This means that OOPHE is increasing faster than total expenditure over time (income).
The study is classified as social research because it involves a scientific investigation into the nature and trends of social phenomena in households and human behavior in general in order to develop broad principles and scientific concepts related to the economics of out-of-pocket healthcare spending.
The study’s intention, as previously mentioned, is to develop a “pseudo-panel employing the cohort fixed-effect model.” Without the benefit of actual panel data, which is typical in developing countries, a pseudo-panel is created by combining many independent repeating cross-sectional data sets. Pseudo-panel analysis is commonly used to approximate income or price elasticities and do life-cycle assessments, both of which need a substantial quantity of long-term data. Panel data, on the other hand, has availability and attrition restrictions. It provides an alternative when longitudinal panel data is not available. If a cohort fixed-effect is included in the computations, certain unobserved features can be captured, potentially leading to skewed assessments.
A Review of a Study on The Factors Influencing Healthcare Efficiency in Developing Countries
Zhou, Lulin, Ampon-Wireko, Sabina, Dauda, Laminin, Xu, Xinglong, Antwi, Maxwell, & Larnyo, Ebenezer, 2020, “Empirical Analysis of Factors Influencing Healthcare Efficiency among Emerging Countries,” Healthcare, 9:1: 1-16.
The primary research question of the study is whether and how income levels in developing countries affect healthcare spending efficacy, as well as the factors that affect it. The purpose of applied research is to come up with remedies to certain problems. It is a sort of research that entails empirically based problem-solving investigations into a area of study or research topic. As a consequence, the current study qualifies as applied research since it utilizes empirical and quantitative data to solve the challenge of developing effective healthcare systems.
A study, which employed the stochastic frontier model to analyze the variables that contribute to inefficiencies in Germany’s healthcare system, is examined in the paper. A standardized mortality rate was utilized as an output variable. The number and level of general medical professionals, beds in medical institutions and specialists were used as inputs. According to the study, urban areas have lower efficiencies, whereas rural areas have higher efficiencies. Some authors, employed stochastic frontier analysis to examine the effectiveness of government funding allocated to labor in the healthcare industry in Nigeria from 1966 to 2014.
The article was largely quantitative in nature, since it examined economic theories and assumptions using data shown in figures and graphs. A prototype of the list of variables was constructed after conducting extensive literature study. The list was created after an evaluation of the data availability in the ‘World Bank’s database of development indicators.’ Expected life-span and neonatal survival rates were chosen as output variables, whereas public spending on healthcare was selected to act as an input to health generation. Expected life-span at birth was chosen as a reliable ‘healthcare system outcome’ that has been used frequently in the literature to indirectly quantify population health. The Simar and Wilson estimate technique was utilized to analyze the impact of contingent variables on health efficacy for a thorough evaluation.
The research, which spanned the years 2000 to 2018, included data from 21 emerging economies. India, Pakistan, Brazil, and Malaysia are among the countries taking part. Other countries were excluded from the analysis due to a data shortage. Because the paper was grounded in secondary data analysis from the World Bank Development Indicators and the WHO database, ethical approval was not required.
According to the statistics, R&D is the most important variable in the study. Furthermore, all of the panels showed significant gains in economic growth. Increased economic growth may assist the world’s most populated, low, middle, and high-income countries in terms of efficiency. Education enhances health efficacy in low, middle, and high-income countries.
Additionally, while more medical practitioners increase healthcare efficacy in more developed countries, it diminishes in low-income ones. Corruption has an influence on healthcare efficacy in upper-middle-income and lower-middle-income nations. A 1% increase in corruption resulted in a 0.115 percent and 0.026 percent loss in health efficiency for the main panel and lower-middle-income nations, respectively.
The study is classified as social since it focuses on people in their social settings and seeks to better our understanding of social orders, organizations, institutes, and ethics in the healthcare profession.
It was intriguing to see how medical research in developing nations played a major role in upper-middle-income and high-income developing countries. This emphasizes the importance of R&D across a range of businesses, including health care. Medical research may result in improved drugs and disease therapies. Increased healthcare research may also help practitioners widen their expertise, eliminate guessing, and better comprehend the underlying principles of particular health therapies.
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Jeetoo, J., & Jaunky, V. C. (2022). An Empirical Analysis of Income Elasticity of Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Expenditure in Mauritius. Healthcare, 10(1), 101. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010101
Zhou, L., Ampon-Wireko, S., Dauda, L., Xu, X., Antwi, M. O., & Larnyo, E. (2020). Empirical Analysis of Factors Influencing Healthcare Efficiency among Emerging Countries. Healthcare, 9(1), 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010031