This indicator measures the government’s commitment to investing in the health and well-being of its people.
Relationship to Growth & Poverty Reduction
MCC generally strives to measure outcomes rather than inputs, but health outcomes can be very slow to adjust to policy changes. Therefore, the Health Expenditures indicator is used to gauge the extent to which governments are making investments in the health and well-being of their citizens. 1 A large body of literature links improved health outcomes to economic growth and poverty reduction. 2 While the link between expenditures and outcomes is never automatic in any country, it is generally positive when expenditures are managed and executed efficiently. 3 Research suggests that increased spending on health, when coupled with good policies and good governance, can promote growth, reduce poverty, and trigger declines in infant, child, and maternal mortality. 4
This indicator measures general government health expenditure (GGHE) as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). General government health expenditure includes outlays earmarked for health maintenance, restoration or enhancement of the health status of the population, paid for in cash or in kind by the following financing agents: central/federal, state/provincial/regional, and local/municipal authorities; extrabudgetary agencies, social security schemes; and parastatals. All can be financed through domestic funds or through external resources (mainly as grants passing through the government or loans channeled through the national budget). GGHE includes both recurrent and investment expenditures (including capital transfers) made during the year. The classification of the functions of government (COFOG) promoted by the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), OECD and other institutions sets the boundaries for public outlays. Figures are originally estimated in million national currency units (million NCU) and in current prices. GDP data are primarily drawn from the United Nations National Accounts statistics.