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Essential Healthcare Services And Economic Prosperity: Evidence From Cross-Sectional And Time-Series Data

IJED, Vol. 12 No. 2, (2019)

This paper examines the relationship between investments in healthcare services and economic development across the world. The motivation comes from the assertion of the 2015 Lancet Commission that “investment in surgical and anesthesia services is affordable, saves lives, and promotes economic growth” and the 2016 World Health Organization Bulletin 94:201-209F who indicates a strong explanatory power of per capita expenditure on health as a determinant of surgical volume, an essential healthcare service. Using several methodologies, we find support for the hypothesis that investment in surgical, anesthesia, and other essential healthcare services and beyond, promotes economic growth. Our finding suggests that, other things equal, an increase of 1% in healthcare expenditure per capita leads to an increase in economic prosperity varying from 0.22% to 0.88%.

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