The indirect effects of subsidised healthcare in rural Ghana.

Powell-Jackson, T; Ansah, EK; (2015) The indirect effects of subsidised healthcare in rural Ghana. Social science & medicine (1982), 144. pp. 96-103. ISSN 0277-9536 DOI:

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Social networks provide a channel through which health policies and programmes can affect those with close social ties to the intended beneficiaries. We provide experimental evidence on the indirect effects of heavily subsidised healthcare. By exploiting data on 2151 households from a randomised study conducted in a rural district of Ghana in 2005, we estimate the extent to which social networks, defined by religion, influence the uptake of primary care services. We find that people socially connected to households with subsidised care are less likely to use primary care services despite the fact that the direct effect of the intervention is positive. We extend the empirical analysis to consider the implications of these changes in behaviour for welfare but find no evidence of indirect effects on child health and healthcare spending. In the context of this study, the findings highlight the potential for healthcare subsidies to have unintended consequences.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Maternal Health Group
PubMed ID: 26409167
Web of Science ID: 364268600012


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