HEALTH INDICES AND NIGERIA ECONOMIC GROWTH

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ABSTRACT

This research works examines the health indices and the Nigeria’s economic Growth.

In particular, the researcher is interested in knowing the type of correlation that exists between health indices and economic growth thereby, representing health indices such as infant mortality rate and life expectancy at birth. The researcher also represents the economic growth of Nigeria with Gross Domestic Product.

A series research made into the health sector shows that the infant mortality increased at an increasing rate from the year 1990 to 2000 but has been decreasing since then. This research study also reveals that there was a continuous decrease in life expectancy from the year 2000 to 2008 .According to this research study, these two health care indicators show that there is an inverse relationship between GDP and health indices in Nigeria.

Finally, this research study reveals that in order for the healthcare system to be a major determinant of the country’s GDP (Nigeria), some vital roles should be played by the government at all levels such as financing the health care sector adequately, health problems should be extended to health economist and not only to the hands of health professionals and ministers, includes the training of health economics in national policies among others.

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 INTRODUCTION

In recent decades, the Sub-Saharan Africa has attracted global attention as international institutions have come together in order to curb or combat the major problems facing it. From the facts above, it is clear that apart from the fact that these problems exist in Sub-Sahara Africa they also have the lowest response rate and this brings to play the role of institutions in the attainment of economic development via health. In order to ensure that growth and development takes place in an economy, economic stability and certainty have to be guaranteed in a society in order to attract investors and this can only be achieved in a society with good governance and political stability. It is now the role of institutions to direct the activities and transactions carried out by different players with respect to their economic, political and social environment if development is to take place. As Jack and Lewis (2009) in a view to investigate the determinants of health itself, particularly the evidence on the impact of public expenditure point out that in general there appears “to be growing evidence that the public policies only improve health when institutions are of sufficiently high quality, and that good institutions themselves are likely to have a more important direct effect on growth than growth through health”. 20 ‘Institutions in health care are important but under studied. The lack of sound institutions undermines health investments and leads to ambiguous evidence relationship between health care services and health status. Accepted indicators of health care performance such as hospital infection rates, utilization statistics, or surgery survival rates are rarely collected even when required, for lack of some combination of oversight, regulation, and enforcement. This applies in middle income countries as well as poorer ones. Indirect indicators of poor performance that are increasingly relied on in the absence of more direct measures include provider absenteeism, lack of basic medical supplies and drugs, poor management of purchases, leakage of funds, and under-the-table payments by patients, all of which highlight the nature of the performance lapses that undermine effective service delivery’ (Lewis, 2006; Jack and Lewis, 2009). Institutions with regards to health play an important role in achieving Economic growth as if institutions are unable to function, public spending on health will not improve health talk more of raising Economic growth. Therefore more attention should be paid to upgrading Health care institutions. Health has been seen to have effects on economic development as it improves productivity and human capital. Good health improves the ability and capacity to learn and work while chronic illness undermines current productivity and promises future outcomes in output. According to Spring (2005) ‘improvements in health have both level and growth effect on per capital income. Level effects from improved health results from increases in effective labour inputs. Improved health contributes to this in two ways: first by increasing the supply of labour inputs due to less time missed due to disease. Secondly by the increase in the efficiency in labour inputs due to improvements in the quality of labour when individuals are healthier. Growth rate occurs because a lower incidence of disease increases (the private and social) rates of return to human capital investments, which in turn leads to higher rates of economic growth”.