The Changing Political Undercurrents in Health Services Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Citation: Ichoku, H. E., and A. I. Ifelunini. “The Changing Political Undercurrents in Health Services Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa.” International Journal of Health Services 47, no. 3 (2016): 489–503.
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • health service delivery
    • neoliberalism
    • politics
    • sub-Saharan Africa

This article reviews the changing political undercurrent in health service delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa, chronicling the ideological shift in orientation toward neoliberalism in the health sector, an ideology crafted and introduced into Sub-Saharan Africa by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The article examines the implication of this neoliberal reform on the efficiency in health care provision and on the quality and accessibility of health services by the poor and vulnerable. Drawing inference from countries like Nigeria, the authors argue that the ascendency of neoliberalism in the health systems of Sub-Saharan Africa has engendered unethical practices and introduced elements of moral hazard in the health sector, reducing the incentive for governments to develop effective service delivery over the long term. The authors therefore advocate for a rejection of neoliberal ideology in favor of a universal coverage principle if an inclusive health system is to be developed.

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