Comment Financing universal health coverage by cutting fossil fuel subsidies

Vinay Gupta, Ranu Dhillon, Robert Yates

The Lancet Global Health; 2015, 3(6);e306-e307
Published online: June 2015


Several countries that allocate large sums of public funds  to fossil fuel subsidies have low public health spending and associated low health coverage. Two such nations, Indonesia and Iran, have eliminated these subsidies to finance health coverage and other social priorities. Other countries with high expenditure on fossil fuel subsidies are considering similar reforms, suggesting that the reallocation of fuel subsidies could become an important mechanism for countries to pursue universal health coverage. Worldwide, nearly half a trillion dollars were spent on fossil fuel subsidies in 2010.1 Although these subsidies were at first intended to protect poor people from high fuel costs, in practice they are more likely to benefit wealthy households, promote overconsumption of fuel, and discourage energy efficiency. Furthermore, cutting of fossil fuel subsidies has been associated with favourable economic factors, including stronger currencies and improved current accounts deficits….

KeywordsPalabras clave:

Universal Health Coverage; Health Economics;  Health Expenditures; Investments; Fossil Fuels; Global Health

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