Neo-liberal growth strategies implemented since the early 1980s in Turkey led to poverty and unemployment, bringing particular impediments in access to health services. How can equity help restore government’s responsiveness to public needs? The author, Zeynep Güldem Ökem, answers this question with an equity analysis into the health sector in Turkey. How relevant is equity for economic growth? She derives a Chronic Disease Index based on this equity analysis, to estimate convergence in economic growth. As opposed to conventional indices, this health status index combines socio-economic and demographic variables with regional variations, which helps explaining convergence in growth rates among provinces. Hence, equity in the health system supports economic growth. Equity plays a two way function: while supporting growth, it helps an efficient redistribution by targeting those who need most. This book sheds some light on the relationship between equity in the health sector and economic growth. It should be useful to professionals in policy making and implementation as well as students and researchers in health economics.
Zeynep Güldem Ökem, a health economist, is a Research Fellow at CEPS.
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