Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 4, No. 2, 2006
Pages 103-110

DOI: 10.36108/ijss/6002.40.0230

Social Justice and the Political Economy of Health Care in Nigeria: Some empirical observations

Raheem, U.A.

Department of Geography, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria


This paper evaluates the level of social and/or spatial justice in the Nigerian health sector. It argues that since the steady progress of the Nigerian health sector from a purely capitalist colonial orientation to a more or less indigenous capitalist orientation, the most significant factors responsible for the spatial pattern of health care in the country relate more to the spatial power structure rather than a strict adherence to the principle of social justice through welfare considerations. This argument is adjudged valid, given the empirical instance of health facility distribution vis-a-vis the national population. Using a Gint coefficient, the study evaluates the regional distribution pattern of health care resources in the country and concludes that the observed pattern is an empirical justification of Hart’s inverse care law hypothesis, which states that the availability of medical care varies inversely to the population. The study concludes that except private individuals and communities have direct access to care provision and/or the health care sector is significantly depoliticized, the idea of social or spatial justice may remain only in principle.
Keywords: Social justice, political economy, geopolitical zone, health care and Nigeria age ratio

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