Healthy Reductions to Health Fees: the case of Jamaica

Type Working Paper
Title Healthy Reductions to Health Fees: the case of Jamaica
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Healthy population is in shape to use better its time. Using data from
household surveys from Jamaica we show that the abolition of health user fees
in this country has increase population’s welfare related outcomes and helped
to recover working time otherwise lost if the program had not existed. We
fund that, in average, users (ill or that suffered an accident) spent around 78%
less in health services than before the program. This is accompanied by a lack
of effect on visits (extensive and intensive margin) and the number of days to
recover, evidence that suggests individuals improve their welfare due to less
expenditure, same quality and no overcrowding of the system. Also, we found
that there is a recover of working time due to the positive effect on work hours,
mainly driven by women. We propose two transmission channels to explain
this finding: the policy’s negative effect on probability of work absenteeism and
school absenteeism.

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