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Fiji's rich are contributing more to finance health system - study reveals

Fiji's rich are contributing more to finance health system - study reveals

By Dhanjay Deo
Thursday 15/10/2015

An independent study by the University of New South Wales has found that Fiji’s poor are getting a fair share of the benefits from the Fiji government’s spending on healthcare but challenges remain particularly the lack of data to assess the quality of health services.

The study has found that Fiji’s rich are contributing more of their income towards financing the health system.

The Study’s lead author Associate Professor Virginia Wiseman who is from the University of New South Wales School of Public Health and Community Medicine said challenges remain, especially regarding the quality of health services.

She has recommended that Fiji strengthens national data collection systems to track coverage of quality healthcare services.

The study has found that excluding external resources, the Fijian healthcare system is financed by a mixture of government resources, 64 percent from taxes, 29 percent out of pocket payments and 7 percent private health insurance schemes.

According to the study, wealthier Fijians make the largest contribution towards financing the health system through payment of direct taxes and voluntary health insurance.

The study also found poorer groups use outpatient and inpatient services in government healthcare facilities more often than the rich while private facilities are used predominantly by richer groups.

The study further stated that the distribution of total government health subsidy also favours poorer groups more than wealthier ones.

The research team had collected data from a cross-sectional survey of 2,000 households on health service utilization.

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