PUBLIC HEALTH CARE EXPENDITURE IN NIGERIA: CIVILIAN VERSUS MILITARY REGIMES
AbstractThe study examines the determinants of public health expenditure in Nigeria for the period of 1977 to 2008. The study employs Augmented-Dickey Fuller (ADF) test for unit root, Engle-Granger (1987) approach for cointegration. The ADF test suggests that the variables are mean reverting series at level, while some became stationary after first order difference. The result of the cointegration suggests that there is a long-run relationship between per capita health care expenditure and its economic determinants: per capita income, petroleum prices, population with age below 15 years, under-five mortality, inflation rate, unemployment rate and regime of goverrnment. The results show that public health care expenditure in Nigeria is income inelastic and positive; implying that health care in Nigeria is a necessity rather than a luxury. Medical progress, which represents the level of advancement of the health sector, is also a core determinant of public health care expenditure in Nigeria, shows that Nigerian health sector is underdeveloped and is yet to utilize modern treatment options. The results further show that military government regime spends less on health care than civilian government regime by about 75.59%. This suggests that civilian government is not only more people-oriented, but also more responsive to the health care needs of the people. Hence, government intervention (both direct and indirect) is requiredd to improve the health status of Nigerians.
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