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Economic Brief - What policies should be implemented to address inequalities in health care in Tunisia ?

12-May-2014

Key Messages

• Despite the progress achieved, health inequalities remain considerable and relatively little known in Tunisia. In light of the analysis conducted, there is significant elbow room for reducing these inequalities. In Tunisia, there are significant inequalities in care consumption between governorates for similar needs (those related to reproductive health, for example). There are also significant differences in the health status of the population of these governorates. The life expectancy of 74.5 years in 2009 does not exceed 70 years in Kasserine andTataouine,butreaches 77 years in the governorates of Tunis andSfax.

The analysis indicates that:

- The overall inequality in health spending declined from 2000 to 2010. The breakdown of the Gini index shows that this movement is almost entirely explained by the decrease in inequality in pharmaceuticals spending, which accounted for 42.2% of health spending in 2010. This trend can be attributed to a greater availability of pharmacies throughout the national territory.

- The items where inequality has worsened and that had an inertia effect were long-term illnesses (17% of expenditure), hospital stay and medical surgery (8.6%) and radio and scans (8% of health spending). Such spending is related to the demographic and epidemiological transition.

- Dental care is characterized by unusually high levels of inequality and lack of access for the disadvantaged classes.

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