Constructit and Castor Collins Insurance

National Health Care Spending in Trinidad and Tobago
Anand Chatoorgoon
May, 23rd, 2011
Steve Linerode

National health care spending in Trinidad and Tobago
“One of the most important questions facing health care economists and policy-makers in general is, how much of a nation’s wealth should be devoted to   health care. One problem that plagues any attempt to address national health care policy is the time it takes for health care spending to respond to major economic changes, such as a drop in gross domestic product (GDP) or inflation. Policy makers attempt to control costs by imposing regulations on the health care system, but because of the slow pace of economic change, it is difficult to know whether regulations are necessary or even effective. An added problem is that most health care spending is for labour, so cost containment measures often involve cutting wages or laying off personnel, which are always unpopular actions” (Getzen and Allen, 2007, p. 300). Health and development are intimately connected. Good health is central to human happiness and well-being, and makes an important contribution to national progress. “Health care costs so much because people place so much value on their health” (Getzen & Moore, 2007, p. 13). ).   All stakeholders involved in health care spending today must take into consideration such important factors, inter alia, as the country’s current financial status, budget constraints, the prevailing global economic depression, patient’s rights, needs versus demands, cost-benefit ratios, scarcity and choice, for at the end of the day, “money still determines health” (Getzen & Moore, 2007). This paper takes a look at some of the factors pertinent to national health care spending in Trinidad and Tobago, a twin-island Republic in the West Indies with a population of 1.3 million people and an area of approximately 2,000 square miles, and provides a forecast of the future economic needs of the...