Health Care Performance and Health Financing Systems in Countries from Central and Eastern Europe

Sorin Gabriel ANTON, Mihaela ONOFREI

Abstract


A common feature of all health systems from emerging economies is the shortage of financial resources. This fact is currently exacerbated by the economic crisis that has led many governments to reconsider the level of public spending in the health sector. Starting from the Romanian experience, the paper aims to highlight the linkage between the performance of the health system and the total health spending for selected countries from Central and Eastern Europe. Romania has the lowest level of health expenditure as percentage of GDP in Europe, even if its growth rate for 2003-2008 was the highest. In addition, empirical evidence shows that these resources are used inefficiently. Despite the increasing resources allocated to the health sector, statistical analysis shows that health system efficiency, as measured by under-5 (child) mortality rate, is still low. We use regression analysis based on crosssection data in order to explain the differences in health expenditure and their implication on the system efficiency. Health data have been provided by international organizations. Crosssection regression results suggest that total
health spending and GDP per capita are the most important factors explaining differences in health status across Central and Eastern European countries, though other lifestyle factors could play important roles.


Keywords


resource allocation; funding; efficiency; ethics; health services; developing countries.

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