An evaluation of the International Monetary Fund's claims about public health

D Stuckler, S Basurra, Anna Gilmore, R Batniji, G Ooms, A A Marphatia, R Hammonds, M McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The International Monetary Fund's recent claims concerning its impact on public health are evaluated against available data. First, the IMF claims that health spending either does not change or increases with IMF-supported programs, but there is substantial evidence to the contrary. Second, the IMF claims to have relaxed strict spending requirements in response to the 2008-9 financial crisis, but there is no evidence supporting this claim, and some limited evidence from the Center for Economic Policy Research contradicting it. Third, the IMF states that wage ceilings on public health are no longer part of its explicit conditionalities to poor countries, as governments can choose how to achieve public spending targets; but in practice, ministers are left with few viable alternatives than to reduce health budgets to achieve specific IMF-mandated targets, so the result effectively preserves former policy. Fourth, the IMF's claim that it has increased aid to poor countries also seems to be contradicted by its policies of diverting aid to reserves, as well as evidence that a very small fraction of the Fund's new lending in response to the financial crisis has reached poor countries. Finally, the IMF's claim that it follows public health standards in tobacco control contrasts with its existing policies, which fail to follow the guidelines recommended by the World Bank and World Health Organization. The authors recommend that the IMF (1) become more transparent in its policies, practices, and data to allow improved independent evaluations of its impact on public health (including Health Impact Assessment) and (2) review considerable public health evidence indicating a negative association between its current policies and public health outcomes.
LanguageEnglish
Pages327-332
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Public Health
Health Impact Assessment
Clergy
United Nations
Salaries and Fringe Benefits
Health
Budgets
Tobacco
Economics
Guidelines
Research

Cite this

Stuckler, D., Basurra, S., Gilmore, A., Batniji, R., Ooms, G., Marphatia, A. A., ... McKee, M. (2010). An evaluation of the International Monetary Fund's claims about public health. International Journal of Health Services, 40(2), 327-332. https://doi.org/10.2190/HS.40.2.m

An evaluation of the International Monetary Fund's claims about public health. / Stuckler, D; Basurra, S; Gilmore, Anna; Batniji, R; Ooms, G; Marphatia, A A; Hammonds, R; McKee, M.

In: International Journal of Health Services, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2010, p. 327-332.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stuckler, D, Basurra, S, Gilmore, A, Batniji, R, Ooms, G, Marphatia, AA, Hammonds, R & McKee, M 2010, 'An evaluation of the International Monetary Fund's claims about public health', International Journal of Health Services, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 327-332. https://doi.org/10.2190/HS.40.2.m
Stuckler, D ; Basurra, S ; Gilmore, Anna ; Batniji, R ; Ooms, G ; Marphatia, A A ; Hammonds, R ; McKee, M. / An evaluation of the International Monetary Fund's claims about public health. In: International Journal of Health Services. 2010 ; Vol. 40, No. 2. pp. 327-332.
@article{33095d1604324807b5fe6b754c3ba8a0,
title = "An evaluation of the International Monetary Fund's claims about public health",
abstract = "The International Monetary Fund's recent claims concerning its impact on public health are evaluated against available data. First, the IMF claims that health spending either does not change or increases with IMF-supported programs, but there is substantial evidence to the contrary. Second, the IMF claims to have relaxed strict spending requirements in response to the 2008-9 financial crisis, but there is no evidence supporting this claim, and some limited evidence from the Center for Economic Policy Research contradicting it. Third, the IMF states that wage ceilings on public health are no longer part of its explicit conditionalities to poor countries, as governments can choose how to achieve public spending targets; but in practice, ministers are left with few viable alternatives than to reduce health budgets to achieve specific IMF-mandated targets, so the result effectively preserves former policy. Fourth, the IMF's claim that it has increased aid to poor countries also seems to be contradicted by its policies of diverting aid to reserves, as well as evidence that a very small fraction of the Fund's new lending in response to the financial crisis has reached poor countries. Finally, the IMF's claim that it follows public health standards in tobacco control contrasts with its existing policies, which fail to follow the guidelines recommended by the World Bank and World Health Organization. The authors recommend that the IMF (1) become more transparent in its policies, practices, and data to allow improved independent evaluations of its impact on public health (including Health Impact Assessment) and (2) review considerable public health evidence indicating a negative association between its current policies and public health outcomes.",
author = "D Stuckler and S Basurra and Anna Gilmore and R Batniji and G Ooms and Marphatia, {A A} and R Hammonds and M McKee",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.2190/HS.40.2.m",
language = "English",
volume = "40",
pages = "327--332",
journal = "International Journal of Health Services",
issn = "0020-7314",
publisher = "Baywood Publishing Co. Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An evaluation of the International Monetary Fund's claims about public health

AU - Stuckler, D

AU - Basurra, S

AU - Gilmore, Anna

AU - Batniji, R

AU - Ooms, G

AU - Marphatia, A A

AU - Hammonds, R

AU - McKee, M

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - The International Monetary Fund's recent claims concerning its impact on public health are evaluated against available data. First, the IMF claims that health spending either does not change or increases with IMF-supported programs, but there is substantial evidence to the contrary. Second, the IMF claims to have relaxed strict spending requirements in response to the 2008-9 financial crisis, but there is no evidence supporting this claim, and some limited evidence from the Center for Economic Policy Research contradicting it. Third, the IMF states that wage ceilings on public health are no longer part of its explicit conditionalities to poor countries, as governments can choose how to achieve public spending targets; but in practice, ministers are left with few viable alternatives than to reduce health budgets to achieve specific IMF-mandated targets, so the result effectively preserves former policy. Fourth, the IMF's claim that it has increased aid to poor countries also seems to be contradicted by its policies of diverting aid to reserves, as well as evidence that a very small fraction of the Fund's new lending in response to the financial crisis has reached poor countries. Finally, the IMF's claim that it follows public health standards in tobacco control contrasts with its existing policies, which fail to follow the guidelines recommended by the World Bank and World Health Organization. The authors recommend that the IMF (1) become more transparent in its policies, practices, and data to allow improved independent evaluations of its impact on public health (including Health Impact Assessment) and (2) review considerable public health evidence indicating a negative association between its current policies and public health outcomes.

AB - The International Monetary Fund's recent claims concerning its impact on public health are evaluated against available data. First, the IMF claims that health spending either does not change or increases with IMF-supported programs, but there is substantial evidence to the contrary. Second, the IMF claims to have relaxed strict spending requirements in response to the 2008-9 financial crisis, but there is no evidence supporting this claim, and some limited evidence from the Center for Economic Policy Research contradicting it. Third, the IMF states that wage ceilings on public health are no longer part of its explicit conditionalities to poor countries, as governments can choose how to achieve public spending targets; but in practice, ministers are left with few viable alternatives than to reduce health budgets to achieve specific IMF-mandated targets, so the result effectively preserves former policy. Fourth, the IMF's claim that it has increased aid to poor countries also seems to be contradicted by its policies of diverting aid to reserves, as well as evidence that a very small fraction of the Fund's new lending in response to the financial crisis has reached poor countries. Finally, the IMF's claim that it follows public health standards in tobacco control contrasts with its existing policies, which fail to follow the guidelines recommended by the World Bank and World Health Organization. The authors recommend that the IMF (1) become more transparent in its policies, practices, and data to allow improved independent evaluations of its impact on public health (including Health Impact Assessment) and (2) review considerable public health evidence indicating a negative association between its current policies and public health outcomes.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77949871529&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/HS.40.2.m

U2 - 10.2190/HS.40.2.m

DO - 10.2190/HS.40.2.m

M3 - Article

VL - 40

SP - 327

EP - 332

JO - International Journal of Health Services

T2 - International Journal of Health Services

JF - International Journal of Health Services

SN - 0020-7314

IS - 2

ER -