Nearly a year after officially opening, University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, is proving to be a transformative force. Beyond the obvious impact of improved health outcomes, the hospital—the largest post-earthquake reconstruction project completed to date in Haiti’s public health sector—is a catalyst for economic development in one of the country’s least developed regions.
When fully staffed, University Hospital will provide more than 800 jobs for Haitians—Haitians who shop in local markets, invest in nearby housing, and grab lunch at neighborhood restaurants and food stands. New businesses and opportunities are cropping up—take for instance Linda Marçone, a mother of three who sells egg sandwiches. She recently moved her operations outside of University Hospital and is now selling dozens of sandwiches each morning.
This transformation isn’t a surprise. Investments in critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, spur development. To measure how large-scale private and public investments spill over onto a country’s various economic sectors, economists use what’s known as an input-output model.
PIH’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Quality team recently partnered with researchers from Haiti and the U.S. to apply an input-output model to University Hospital. “The idea behind the input-output approach is intuitively simple,” the researchers note in a working paper. Essentially, the influx of resources into some sectors of the economy—health care and teaching in the case of University Hospital—will affect other sectors of the economy through what is called the “multiplier effect.” This will result in an economic impact far greater than that of the original investment.
PIH has been working in the Central Plateau for more than 25 years. University Hospital provides access to high-quality health for everyone who needs it. It is the training ground for Haiti’s next generation of doctors, and it is an engine of economic development. We couldn’t have built it without your partnership.