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Assessing the responsiveness of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure to macro-fiscal factors and different health financing systems: evidence from the European and OECD area

Nikolaos Grigorakis (Department of Accounting and Finance and LAFIM, Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU), Heraklion, Greece) (National Organization for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY), Heraklion Regional Division, Marousi, Greece)
Georgios Galyfianakis (Department of Accounting and Finance and LAFIM, Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU), Heraklion, Greece)
Evangelos Tsoukatos (School of Business, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus) (Department of Accounting and Finance and LAFIM, Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU), Heraklion, Greece)

EuroMed Journal of Business

ISSN: 1450-2194

Article publication date: 26 March 2021

Issue publication date: 17 May 2022

400

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors assess the responsiveness of OOP healthcare expenditure to macro-fiscal factors, as well as to tax-based, SHI, mixed systems and voluntary PHI financing. Although the relationship between OOP expenditure, macroeconomy, aggregate public and PHI financing is well documented in the existing empirical literature, little is known for the impact of several macro-fiscal drivers and the existing health financing arrangements associated with voluntary PHI on OOP expenditure.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors gather panel data by applying three official organizations’ databases. They elaborate static and dynamic panel data methodology to a dataset of 49 European and OECD countries from 2000 to 2015.

Findings

The authors’ findings do not indicate a considerable impact of GDP growth and general government debt as a share of GDP on OOP payments. Unemployment rate presents as a positive driver of OOP payments in all three compulsory national health systems post to the 2008 economic crisis. OOP payments are significantly influenced by countries’ fiscal capacity to increase general government expenditure to GDP in SHI and mixed health systems. Additionally, study findings present that government health financing, irrespective of the different health systems structure characteristics, and OOP healthcare payments follow different directions. Voluntary PHI financing considerably counteracts OOP payments only in tax-based health systems.

Practical implications

In the backdrop of a new economic crisis associated to the COVID-19 epidemic, health policy planners have to deal with the emerging unprecedented challenges in financing of health systems, especially for these economies that have to face the fiscal capacity constraints owing to the 2008 financial crisis and its severe recession.

Originality/value

To the best of authors’ knowledge, there is no empirical consensus on the effects of macro-fiscal parameters, different compulsory health systems financing associated with the parallel voluntary PHI institution funding on OOP expenditure, for the majority of European and OECD settings.

Keywords

Citation

Grigorakis, N., Galyfianakis, G. and Tsoukatos, E. (2022), "Assessing the responsiveness of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure to macro-fiscal factors and different health financing systems: evidence from the European and OECD area", EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 193-217. https://doi.org/10.1108/EMJB-09-2020-0105

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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