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Universal Health Care 101: Lessons for the Eastern Caribbean and Beyond

Author/Editor: Tsounta, Evridiki
Authorized for Distribution: March 1, 2009
Electronic Access: Free Full Text (PDF file size is 733KB)
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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

Summary: Despite the increasing interest in universal health care, little is known about the optimal way to finance, design, and implement it. This paper attempts to fill this gap by providing some general policy recommendations on this important issue. While most of the paper addresses the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) countries, its policy implications are applicable to any country. The paper finds that the best financing option is country-specific¯depending on a country’s economic, cultural, institutional, demographic and epidemiological characteristics, as well as political economy considerations. However, taxation should be the primary financing source. It also concludes that an appropriate and realistic benefit package would need to be designed to ensure the system’s financial viability. Regarding the optimal way to implement universal health care, certain preconditions are needed, including sound public administration, a small informal economy, and a transparent health financing system that builds social consensus.
 
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Series: Working Paper No. 09/61
Subject(s): Health care | Eastern Caribbean Currency Union | Government expenditures | Social safety nets | Aging | Population | Fiscal policy | Tax administration | Taxation | Political economy
Author's keyword(s): Health economics | government expenditure
 
English  
    Published:   March 1, 2009        
            Format:   Paper
    Stock No:   WPIEA2009061   Pages:   35
    Price:   US$18.00 (Academic Rate: US$18.00 )
       
     
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