Bribery in health care in Uganda

J Health Econ. 2010 Sep;29(5):699-707. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jun 25.


I examine the role of household permanent income in determining who bribes and how much they bribe in health care in Uganda. I find that rich patients are more likely than other patients to bribe in public health care: doubling household expenditure increases the bribery probability by 1.2 percentage points compared to a bribery rate of 17%. The income elasticity of the bribe amount is about 0.37. Bribes in the Ugandan public sector appear to be fees-for-service extorted from the richer patients amongst those exempted by government policy from paying the official fees. Bribes in the private sector appear to be flat-rate fees paid by patients who do not pay official fees. I do not find evidence that the public health care sector is able to price discriminate less effectively than public institutions with less competition from the private sector.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Economic Competition
  • Fees and Charges
  • Female
  • Health Care Sector / economics*
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Private Sector / economics*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Public Sector / economics*
  • Social Problems / economics*
  • Uganda