The Role of Non-Governmental Health Care: A Study of its Scope and Potential With a Focus on Policies to Promote its Contribution to Improved Health

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Principal Investigator:
Peter Berman, Adjunct Professor of Population and International Health Economics

Department of Global Health and Population/ Health Systems Group

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Dates of Research:
July 1, 2004 — December 31, 2007


Non-government providers are increasingly the dominant source of personal health care of public health significance, including acute care for many important communicable diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheas, and respiratory infections. Non-governmental providers are also often the main source of health care for the poor, despite the stated availability of free or low-cost public services. The program seeks to analyze the organization of health services and health care delivery for a set of important population health needs and outcomes. Targeted health problems are leading causes of illness and deaths, e.g. TB STI, ARI, diarrhea, malaria. The program assesses the role of private providers and public-private linkages in relation to these health needs. The program has two main phases. The first includes development of methodology and implementation of descriptive and analytical studies in the six participating countries. The second involves the design, implementation and evaluation of policy interventions to improve health systems’ outcomes. The overall objective of the research program is to strengthen health systems’ performance and their outcome in terms of improved health. A second overall objective is to seek ways through which the non-government sector can be involved in providing health care to the public, and in particular to those in most need, while ensuring financial protection of those seeking this care.