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Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme in the Context of the Health MDGs: An Empirical Evaluation Using Propensity Score Matching

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Name of the Asset | Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme in the Context of the Health MDGs: An Empirical Evaluation Using Propensity Score Matching
Type of Asset | Working Paper
Date | November 2009

Summary

In 2003, the Ghanaian government established a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to make health care affordable and accessible, and to improve health outcomes. This paper examines whether the NHIS has accomplished its goal by contrasting the maternal health outcomes of members and non-members who experienced a pregnancy in the four years preceding the date of survey, controlling for their observable characteristics via matching techniques.

The study used a propensity score matching approach and also used a combination of several sampling approaches, collecting a sample of 2000 respondents, comprising 400 NHIS members and 1600 non-members as their potential comparisons.

Results supported the effectiveness of the NHIS. NHIS members were more likely to use prenatal care, deliver in hospitals and be attended by trained professionals compared to nonmembers. They are also less likely to experience birth complications and infant deaths.  In contrast, non-members continue to face very high payments for hospitalization resulting from birth complications, with probably poor outcomes. Furthermore, because NHIS members have more preventive checkups and outpatient attendance, including prenatal care, the uninsured clearly have unmet health needs. 

Authors:

  • Joseph Mensah
  • Joseph R. Oppong
  • Christoph M. Schmidt

Country and/or Region | Ghana 
Name of the Program | GDN’s Global Research Project ‘Promoting Innovative Programs from the Developing World: Towards Realizing the Health MDGs in Africa and Asia
Funder(s) | The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States

Download the Full Study here

If you cite this resource, please notify communications@gdn.int with the subject line 'GDN citation'.

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