Inequality of Health Spending and Public Health Outcome in Countries of the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO)

Document Type : Short Communication


1 Economic Research Institute, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Health Economics Department, Health Management Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Health Economics Department, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: There are little attention about health spending and public health outcomes especially in the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region. This  paper  presents  an  overview  on  health  spending  and  public health  outcomes  in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean countries during 1995-2011.

Methods: This study conducted in 2013 use of health expenditure and public health outcome of 19 WHOs Eastern Mediterranean Region countries during 17 years (1995-2011). Data were including: Per capita health expenditure in current US dollar, Life expectancy at birth, Infant Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births, Under-5 years Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births. Data collected from the latest World Bank published data until 2013. The Descriptive statistics were used to study by using Excel 2007.

Results: In this region, the minimum spending on health (by Pakistan) was about 60 times less than maximum spending (by Qatar). Maximum amount of infant and children mortality rate were respectively 9 and 10 times more than the minimum. Also a decreasing returns to scale of health spending seen between countries. So that countries with better public health status need to pay much more than countries with poor public health status to increase 1 year life expectancy or to save 1 infant or child from premature death.

Conclusion: There is a large inequality among countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region in both health spending and public health outcomes. Due to a decreasing return to scale, allocation financial aids to countries with poor health status can help converging health status in the region and decrease inequalities. 


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