Determinants of Household Expenditure on Health: Evidence from Nigeria
Health has been a major issue in Nigeria and so occurs on the concurrent list of the government. Public and private health expenditure notwithstanding, ill-health has been identified as one of the factors responsible for counter productivity of citizens and poverty in Nigerian households. Healthcare delivery is poor and costly. Therefore, people often resort to self-medication as well as traditional means of healthcare, which has claimed the lives of many citizens. Hence, this study majorly examined the factors influencing household health expenditure in Nigeria. Secondary data was sourced from the Harmonized Nigeria Living Standard Survey (2010). Ordinary Least Square (OLS) technique was used to show the relationship between the dependent variable, household health expenditure and the explanatory variables: household size, sex and age of household head, marital status, zone, sector, consultation fees, hospitalization, medicine and health insurance. The result revealed that five out of the ten variables were statistically significant and positively related to health expenditure. These are household size, consultation fees, hospitalization, medicine and health insurance. Furthermore, about 54% of the households sampled, having between 1 and 4 members spent more on health. Hence, it was recommended that, the Nigerian government should increase allocation to health and promote public awareness on the need for a moderate family size, so that households will be able to cater for their health needs. Finally, awareness on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should be increased and extended to all Nigerian citizens.
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