Government Health Expenditure and Health Outcomes in Nigeria

  • Saheed O. Olayiwola Department of Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
  • Adebayo S. Adedokun Department of Economics, University of Lagos, Lagos
  • Samuel O. Olusanya Department of Economics, National Open University of Nigeria, Abuja
Keywords: Public health expenditures, Health Outcomes


The aim of every successive Government in Nigeria as far as public spending on health is concerned is to achieve desired health outcomes on infant mortality, maternal health, increased life expectancy, curtain the spread of diseases and reduction in the level of morbidity. It is difficult to conclude that there is a match between what is being spent on health and the outcomes that are recorded in the sector. Therefore, this study is set out to investigate the impact of government health expenditure on infant mortality, maternal mortality, and life expectancy in Nigeria, using data from the World Development Indicator, (2021) and World Health Organization Global Health Estimates Data (2020), the study avails the cointegration technique and the Error Correction Model (ECM) methods of analysis. The study found that increase in government health expenditure increased life expectancy while it reduced infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate. Environmental pollution and macroeconomic instability were found to negatively affect life expectancy, infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate. Remarkably, the study found a long-run relationship between government health expenditure, infant mortality, maternal mortality, and life expectancy. The study concludes that adequate and sustainable financing for the health sector can improve health outcomes. Therefore, the study recommends that government should ensure adequate budgetary allocation for the health sector and guarantee judicious management of public health spending to improve health outcomes. Environmental pollution should also be curtailed to ensure healthy population and increase in life expectancy of the populace.


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