The Impact of Healthcare spending on Life Expectancy: Evidence from Selected West African Countries

Elizabeth Yinka Sango-Coker, Murad A. Bein


Increasing healthcare expenditure in West African countries cannot be over-emphasized. There is need for urgent improvement of healthcare, healthcare equipment and facilities, and human resources with qualified healthcare givers. It is important to have clarity on which healthcare sector to invest in, to maximize impact, effectiveness and efficiency. This study investigated the private, public, and public-private healthcare sectors of West Africa. Data was obtained from World Bank Indicators within the period of 16 years (from 1999 - 2014). Using pooled regression and pairwise correlation, empirical results were obtained. Female population lived longer than the male population and a positive relationship was obtained between the variables of healthcare spending and life expectancy for the public healthcare sector. The results showed a negative relationship between these variables for the private healthcare sector. The government, policy and decision-makers are recommended to focus on increasing the expenditure on the public healthcare system to achieve positive outcomes for increased life expectancy against other healthcare sectors that remain expensive and inaccessible to the population. (Afr J Reprod Health 2018; 22[4]: 64-71).

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