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Health and General Systems of Financing Health Care

R. D. Fraser
Medical Care
Vol. 10, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1972), pp. 345-356
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3763219
Page Count: 12
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Health and General Systems of Financing Health Care
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Abstract

The linear relationship between infant mortality, used as a proxy for the overall level of health, and the number of physicians per 10,000 persons, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 persons, and real Gross Domestic Product per capita is estimated with data for 18 well-developed countries in the post-war period. This relationship is then used to estimate the level of infant mortality that one would expect to find in a particular country given the value of the explanatory variables in that country. The size and sign of the residual, the difference between this expected level and the level of infant mortality actually found, is then used to assess roughly the effect on health of different general systems of financing health services. Recently published data on the percentage of health services financed or directly controlled by government, on the relative size of the health sector and on the proportion of health care resources allocated to the provision of nonpersonal, public health care, are then examined in relation to variations in infant mortality left unexplained by the initial explanatory variables. Of the latter three, only the last, the proportion of health care resources devoted to the provision of nonpersonal, public health appears to be a significant determinant of levels of health.

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