Global Healthcare Funding Gets Smaller

Global Healthcare Funding Gets SmallerGlobal Healthcare Funding Gets Smaller

People wasting away from AIDS or succumbing to malaria may become an increasingly common sight within the next 25 years, as funding for universal health care shrivels up.

Health economists warn that local and international aid is failing to keep up with global targets laid out in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, reports

The impact could be felt most in areas of sub-Saharan Africa with the greatest disease burden, but the looming healthcare crisis could affect 35 low and moderate-income countries. Those countries could potentially fall short of a projected health care spending target of $86 per person by 2040.

The bleak assessment is made in two new reports by Joseph Dieleman, an economist at the Institute for Medical Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington, published in the journal The Lancet.

He and his colleagues analyzed data from 184 countries and found that poor countries are not keeping up funding necessary for universal healthcare, and international aid continues to stagnate.

Currently, donor governments and organizations provide $36 billion a year to health care, according to Dieleman — an amount that is continuing to grow, but not keeping up with healthcare demand.

He projects that 15 million people who are now taking antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS could be impacted by a shortfall in healthcare dollars.

According to research estimates, the average health care dollar per person 25 years from now will range from an average of $164 in low-income countries to more than $9,000 in wealthier nations. Healthcare spending is projected to be highest in the US at more than $16,000 per person per year. At only $34 per capita, Somalia will provide the least amount of healthcare money for its citizens.

One solution, according to experts, is for countries to increase tax collection on wealthier citizens and to give a lower priority to programs like fuel subsidies.

The assessment of future public health spending was presented this week at a World Bank meeting on universal healthcare in Washington.