Exploring alternatives for financing health care in Ethiopia: An introductory review article


  • Damen Haile Mariam



Background: with increasing demand for services that is further propagated by high population growth and by people's response to newly emerging pathologies, nations in sub-Saharan African are faced with insurmountable problems in sustaining their health systems.   The decline in international assistance and the effects of structural adjustment programs have made the situation even worse.  Realizing the inadequacy of solely relying on the public sector, these countries are thus seeking alternative mechanisms for health care financing.

Methods: this is a synthetic literature review to describe the situation of health care financing in Ethiopia.  In addition, the newly adopted health care financing strategy was looked at from the perspective of policy analysis.

Results: Health financing has been a major challenge for Ethiopia.  The prospect of relying solely on public resources seems impractical ana the absolute total expenditure on health is quite a small fraction of the amount needed for purchasing a minimum essential health services package.  This has led to the recent adoption of a health care financing strategy and initiation of implementing its specific components.   The sin ?,gy encompasses alternatives that include: improving the efficiency of allocation and utilization of public resources, expanding the role of the private sector, and encouraging the development of risk sharing mechanisms.

Conclusion: Looking at the adoption and implementation the health care financing strategy with a policy analysis approach is helpful for identifying its likely trajectory, and what needs to be done to avoid opposition, or to gain support. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2001;15(3):153-163]