Demand-side determinants of access to healthcare service: Empirical evidence from Africa

Working paper 641
Wa Ntita Serge Kabongo and Josue Mbonigaba
Publication date: 
October, 2016

This study identifies the key determinants of access to healthcare in Africa and estimates the short-run and long-run effects of these determinants. Panel data from 37 African countries, collected from the World Bank Development Indicators and World Health Organisation databases for the period 1995-2012, were analysed using the pooled mean group estimators. Income appeared the strongest determinant of access in the long run in countries in Africa included in the sample. Access to healthcare was a necessity with the long-run income elasticity for access to healthcare being 0.1149. The short-run effects of income on access were, however, only significant in four of the countries in the sample. The difference in the effects of income in the short run and the long run was generally applicable to other variables. These findings imply that policy makers should focus on income to increase access to healthcare while taking cognisance of country-specific conditions in the short run to mitigate varying levels of shocks. 


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