Health, Nutrition and Population

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Private Participation in Health Services

2003, Harding, April, Preker, Alexander S., Harding, April, Preker, Alexander S.

Private participation in health services is often a controversial issue, although many countries already make use of private services to further aims in health care. The book draws on a wide range of country experience to provide a judicious blend of practical advice and useful information on health services privatization issues. It discuses how to assess the potential for private sector involvement, how to engage in contracting with the private sector for health services, and how to regulate the sector. It also provides advice on what to do when key information is not there: a crucial element of any strategy, especially in developing countries where data and information sources are scarce. With the decline of ideology, politicians have grown increasingly fond of the dictum "What is best is what works." This book is an excellent lesson on what works in health care, or more precisely, on how to make what works work better, especially with respect with to the involvement of the private sector. Only with a good public-private mix can we achieve our goal of improving health care for all.

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Innovations in Health Service Delivery : The Corporatization of Public Hospitals

2003, Preker, Alexander S., Harding, April, Preker, Alexander S., Harding, April

The question of how best to run our hospitals has been a subject of intense interest for decades with a strong focus over the past 15 years. Hospital care is the largest expenditure category in the health systems of both industrialized and developing countries. Although hospitals play a critical role in ensuring delivery of health services, less is known about how to improve the efficiency and quality of care provided. This book, a well-documented collection of case studies, is an attempt to examine the design, implementation and impact of reforms that introduced market forces in the public hospital sector; and tries to answer three questions: a) what problems did this type of reform try to address; b) what are the core elements of their design, implementation, and evaluation; and c) is there any evidence that this type of reform is successful in addressing problems for which they were intended?. It also provides some insights about recent trends in the reform of public hospitals, with an emphasis on organizational changes such as increased management autonomy, corporatization, and privatization.